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Indonesian airline Garuda has canceled its order for 49 more Boeing 737 Max 8 jets, worth nearly $5 billion, citing "consumers’ low confidence," a spokesman for the company said Friday. But a Garuda official said the airline may be open to acquiring another Boeing model instead to salvage the deal.

The move follows deadly crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia involving two of the aircraft model.

“We have sent a letter to Boeing requesting that the order be canceled," Garuda spokesman Ikhsan Rosan told Agence France-Presse. “The reason is that Garuda passengers in Indonesia have lost trust and no longer have the confidence” in the plane.

LION AIR BOEING 737 MAX 8 WAS REPORTEDLY SAVED BY OFF-DUTY PILOT DAY BEFORE DEADLY CRASH IN INDONESIA

On March 12, an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing Max 8 jet crashed soon after takeoff near Addis Ababa, killing all 157 people aboard. Five months earlier, the same model of aircraft used by Lion Air crashed, killing all 189 aboard.

The Garuda order of 50 jets was first announced in October 2014, the Washington Post reported.

Garuda has already received one of the planes, AFP reported. The company is talking to Boeing about whether to return the aircraft, the report said.

The carrier has paid Boeing $26 million so far, and would consider switching to a new version of the single-aisle jet, a top Garuda official told Indonesian media outlet Detik, according to AFP.

“In principle, it’s not that we want to replace Boeing, but maybe we will replace (these planes) with another model,” Garuda Indonesia director I Gusti Ngurah Askhara Danadiputra told Detik.

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Rosan told the Post that airline officials were scheduled to meet with representatives from Boeing to discuss the decision on March 28.

“The discussion won’t be easy,” he said.

Source: Fox News World

A Senegalese native angry about Italy’s migrant policy hijacked a bus with 51 children and their chaperones aboard Wednesday and took them on an hour-long drive before setting the vehicle ablaze, officials said.

The driver, who is a citizen of Italy, allegedly said he wanted to kill himself and “stop the deaths in the Mediterranean,” ANSA reported.

"He wanted to get to the runway at [Milan’s airport],” a girl told ANSA. "He handcuffed us and threatened us. He said that if we moved he would pour out the petrol and light the fire.”

“[The driver] kept saying that people in Africa are dying and the fault is [deputy prime ministers Luigi] Di Maio and [Matteo] Salvini,” she added.

FRANCE TO DEPLOY TROOPS TO MAINTAIN SECURITY DURING PROTESTS

The man, reportedly in his 40s, took the bus carrying two middle-school classes in Cremona province, about 25 miles from Milan, and drove for an hour before authorities intercepted the vehicle using three Carabinieri vehicles. Authorities were able to set up a roadblock based on information from an adult and a student who called a parent.

"While two officers kept the driver busy — he took a lighter and threatened to set fire to the vehicle with a gasoline canister on board — the others forced open the back door," Commander Luca De Marchis told Sky24TV.

The driver started the blaze as officers broke the glass in the back door of the bus, allowing the passengers to escape before flames engulfed the entire vehicle. Video of the incident’s aftermath showed a charred metal frame.

INDIAN DIAMOND TYCOON ARRESTED IN LONDON OVER ALLEGED ROLE IN $2 BILLION BANKING SCANDAL

Some passengers were taken to the hospital for cuts and scratches.

The driver, who lived in Cremona and is married with two children, was being treated for burns.

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The driver had worked for the bus company for 15 years without any employment-related issues, Sky TV24 reported. De Marchis said he had previous convictions, but he did not specify their nature other than to say they were not serious crimes.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Source: Fox News World

The day before a brand new Lion Air jet crashed into the sea shortly after taking off from Indonesia‘s capital city last fall – likely due to an equipment malfunction – an off-duty pilot reportedly helped save the aircraft when it began to dive.

The extra pilot was on the flight from Bali to Jakarta and was seated in the cockpit jumpseat when the crew of the Boeing 737 Max 8 struggled for control of the aircraft, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday.

During the flight, the jet displayed unusual variations in altitude and airspeed in its first several minutes, Reuters previously reported. Some of those variations included an 875-foot drop over 27 seconds when the plane would typically be ascending, before stabilizing and flying on to Jakarta.

As the jetliner was in a dive, the extra pilot figured out what was wrong and told the crew how to disable a malfunctioning flight-control system to save the aircraft, two people familiar with Indonesia’s investigation told Bloomberg.

ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES CRASH DATA SHOWS ‘CLEAR SIMILARITIES’ WITH LION AIR ACCIDENT, TRANSPORT MINISTER SAYS

The crew was told to cut power to the motor causing the plane’s nose to dive down, which is part of a checklist that all pilots are required to memorize, according to Bloomberg.

Boeing 737 Max jets are grounded at Sky Harbor International Airport, Thursday, March 14, 2019 in Phoenix.

Boeing 737 Max jets are grounded at Sky Harbor International Airport, Thursday, March 14, 2019 in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)

Hours later with a different crew on board, the same aircraft crashed into the Java Sea after takeoff, killing all 189 aboard.

Officials investigating the Lion Air crash previously said they were looking into the plane’s anti-stall system, which was engaged and repeatedly pushing down the aircraft’s nose prior to it crashing into the sea. The Indonesia safety committee report also said the plane had had multiple failures on previous flights and hadn’t been properly repaired.

“All the data and information that we have on the flight and the aircraft have been submitted to the Indonesian NTSC. We can’t provide additional comment at this stage due to the ongoing investigation on the accident,” Lion Air spokesman Danang Prihantoro told Bloomberg.

The new information comes as investigators are trying to piece together what caused Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 to crash earlier this month just minutes after takeoff, killing all 157 people, including eight Americans, aboard.

The French civil aviation investigation bureau, BEA, said Monday that black box data from the Ethiopian Airlines flight showed "clear similarities" to the Lion Air crash. Ethiopian authorities asked BEA for help in extracting and interpreting the crashed plane’s black boxes because Ethiopia does not have the necessary expertise and technology.

INFIGHTING HAMPERS ANALYSIS OF ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES FLIGHT RECORDERS, SOURCE SAYS

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration previously said satellite-based tracking data showed that the movements of the Ethiopian Airlines flight were similar to those of the Lion Air plane. In both incidents, the planes flew with erratic altitude changes that could indicate the pilots struggled to control the aircraft. Shortly after their takeoffs, both crews tried to return to the airports but crashed.

The Federal Aviation Administration last Wednesday announced Boeing 737 Max 8 and 737 Max 9 models were being temporarily grounded in the U.S. "as a result of the data gathering process and new evidence collected at the [Ethiopia crash] site and analyzed."

U.S. prosecutors are looking into the development of Boeing's 737 Max jets, a person briefed on the matter revealed Monday, the same day French aviation investigators concluded there were "clear similarities" in the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines Max 8 last week and a Lion Air jet in October.

U.S. prosecutors are looking into the development of Boeing’s 737 Max jets, a person briefed on the matter revealed Monday, the same day French aviation investigators concluded there were "clear similarities" in the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines Max 8 last week and a Lion Air jet in October. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

The U.S. joined several other countries in grounding the aircraft following the deadly crash.

On Monday, the Associated Press reported that prosecutors are looking into the development of Boeing’s 737 Max jets, including how the company was regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration.

A federal grand jury in Washington sent a subpoena to someone involved in the plane’s development seeking emails, messages and other communications, the person briefed on the matter told the AP.

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Spokesmen for the Justice Department and the inspector general said Monday they could neither confirm nor deny the existence of any inquiries, while the FAA would not comment.

"Boeing does not respond to or comment on questions concerning legal matters, whether internal, litigation or governmental inquiries," Boeing spokesman Charles Bickers told the AP in an email.

The company late Monday issued an open letter from its CEO, Dennis Muilenburg, addressed to airlines, passengers and the aviation community.

Muilenburg did not refer to the reports of the Justice Department probe, but stressed Boeing is taking actions to ensure its 737 Max jets are safe, including a software update and offer related pilot training for the 737 Max to "address concerns" that arose in the aftermath of October’s Lion Air crash. The planes’ new flight-control software — which automatically pushes the plane’s nose down when a single sensor detects the nose is pointed too high, indicating the possibility the aircraft could stall – is suspected of playing a role in the crashes.

Fox News’ Katherine Lam and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Source: Fox News World

Preliminary data retrieved from the Ethiopian Airlines plane that crashed last week with 157 people aboard showed "clear similarities" with the Lion Air flight that plunged into the sea shortly after takeoff last October in Indonesia, Ethiopia’s transport minister said Sunday.

Officials retrieved the black box of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 in “good condition” and were able to “extract almost all of the data inside,” Ethiopia’s Transport Minister Dagmawit Moges told reporters Sunday. The plane crashed on March 10 just six minutes after it took off in Addis Ababa, killing all 157 people, including eight Americans, aboard.

“Clear similarities were noted between Ethiopian Air Flight 302 and Indonesian Lion Air Flight 610, which will be the subject of further study during the investigation,” Moges said, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Rescuers work at the scene of an Ethiopian Airlines flight crash near Bishoftu, or Debre Zeit, south of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, last Monday.

Rescuers work at the scene of an Ethiopian Airlines flight crash near Bishoftu, or Debre Zeit, south of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, last Monday. (AP)

One of the similarities between the two incidents was that it involved a Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft. The Lion Air flight had just taken off from Jakarta, Indonesia, last October when the pilot requested to return to the airport three minutes later. The plane plunged into the Java Sea, killing 189 people.

ETHIOPIAN CRASH INVESTIGATORS FIND PIECE OF WRECKAGE SIMILAR TO ILL-FATED LION AIR PLANE, REPORT SAYS

Moges did not provide details about the similarities between the two crashes. She said a preliminary report on the Ethiopian Airlines crash will be published within a month.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration previously said satellite-based tracking data showed that the movements of the Ethiopian Airlines flight were similar to those of the Lion Air plane. In both incidents, the planes flew with erratic altitude changes that could indicate the pilots struggled to control the aircraft. Shortly after their takeoffs, both crews tried to return to the airports but crashed.

Indonesian forensic team members examine parts of airplane recovered from the area where a Lion Air plane crashed.

Indonesian forensic team members examine parts of airplane recovered from the area where a Lion Air plane crashed. (AP)

Officials investigating the Lion Air crash previously said they were looking into the plane’s anti-stall system, which was engaged and repeatedly pushing down the aircraft’s nose prior to it crashing into the sea. The plane also had unreliable airspeed readings on its previous flight.

HERO ‘MIRACLE ON THE HUDSON’ PILOT BLASTS ‘ABSURD’ LACK OF TRAINING IN WAKE OF FATAL ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES CRASH

The Federal Aviation Administration on Wednesday announced Boeing 737 Max 8 and 737 Max 9 models were being temporarily grounded in the U.S. "as a result of the data gathering process and new evidence collected at the [Ethiopia crash] site and analyzed."

The U.S. joined several other countries in grounding the aircraft following the deadly crash.

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Boeing said in a statement Wednesday that the company "continues to have full confidence of the safety of the 737 MAX."

However, it added that "out of an abundance of caution and in order to reassure the flying public of the aircraft’s safety," they are supporting "the temporary suspension of operations of the entire global fleet of 371 737 MAX aircraft."

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Source: Fox News World

Infighting among entities involved in the Ethiopian Airlines air disaster probe has hampered analysis of the plane’s damaged black boxes by France’s BEA air accident investigation agency, Fox News has learned.

Arguments broke out Thursday as the flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder arrived at the BEA near Paris for analysis, according to a source who spoke to American investigators there.

The source reported being told that the American investigators left the BEA Thursday night after 12 hours of "doing nothing."

FAA GROUNDS BOEING 737 MAX 8, 737 MAX 9 PLANES FOLLOWING DEADLY ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES CRASH

The United Nations International Civil Aviation Organization has protocols for examination, custody and cooperation among the investigators involved in a civil aviation accident but those protocols are being ignored, according to the source.

The source who spoke to the American investigators also reported being told that the crash site in Hejere had been ransacked by locals before it was secured.

Photo shows one of the black box flight recorder from the crashed Ethiopian Airlines jet. (BEA via AP)

Photo shows one of the black box flight recorder from the crashed Ethiopian Airlines jet. (BEA via AP)

“The scene has been badly compromised,” the source told Fox News. “Positioning is important and that’s been disrupted.”

The report of friction comes as the BEA said Friday that its analysis of the flight recorders had begun.

French officials have said it was unclear whether information could be retrieved due to the damaged condition of the recorders. Ethiopian authorities are leading the crash probe and it will also include the U.S. National Transporation Safety Board.

ETHIOPIAN CRASH INVESTIGATORS FIND PIECE OF WRECKAGE SIMILAR TO ILL-FATED LION AIR PLANE, REPORT SAYS

Also Friday, The New York Times reported that the pilot requested permission "in a panicky voice" to return to the airport shortly after takeoff as the plane dipped up and down sharply and appeared to gain a startling amount of speed.

The report cited "a person who reviewed air traffic communications" from Sunday’s flight saying controllers noticed the plane was moving up and down by hundreds of feet.

Sunday’s plane crashed minutes after takeoff outside Addis Ababa, killing all 157 on board, including eight Americans.

It was the second crash involving a Boeing 737 Max 8 jet in six months. A crash just after takeoff in Indonesia in October killed 189 people.

The headquarters of the BEA is pictured in Le Bourget, north of Paris, Thursday, March 14, 2019. The French air accident investigation authority, known by its French acronym BEA, is now handling the analysis of the so-called black box flight recorders from the Ethiopian Airlines jet that crashed earlier this week. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

The headquarters of the BEA is pictured in Le Bourget, north of Paris, Thursday, March 14, 2019. The French air accident investigation authority, known by its French acronym BEA, is now handling the analysis of the so-called black box flight recorders from the Ethiopian Airlines jet that crashed earlier this week. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

Countries — including the United States — have grounded the Boeing 737 Max 8 as Boeing faces the challenge of proving the jets are safe to fly amid suspicions that faulty software might have contributed to the two crashes. The company on Friday announced a possible software fix to be complete within 10 days.

The decision to send the flight recorders from the Ethiopia crash to France was seen as a rebuke to the U.S., which held out longer than most other countries in grounding the jets, finally giving the order Thursday afternoon. Peter Goelz, a former managing director of the NTSB who is now an aviation consultant, said that late call by the Federal Aviation Administration may indeed have been a factor.

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“I can’t speak for the Ethiopians,” Goelz said. “I’m sure that was under consideration that the FAA was adamant until they weren’t. I think Ethiopia wanted to choose an investigative partner that clearly didn’t have a dog in the fight.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Source: Fox News World

Norwegian Air Shuttles says it will seek compensation from aircraft maker Boeing after the low-cost carrier grounded its fleet of 737 MAX 8 aircraft.

Carrier spokeswoman Tonje Naess told The Associated Press Wednesday that the Oslo-based airline "should not have any financial burden for a brand new aircraft that will not to be used."

On Tuesday, Norwegian Air Shuttles grounded its 18 Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft on recommendation from European aviation authorities after Sunday’s Ethiopian Airlines crash in which 157 people were killed.

An Ethiopian Airlines spokesman says the "black box" from the crashed Boeing jet will be sent overseas for analysis but no country has been chosen.

FLIGHT ATTENDANTS’ UNIONS URGE US CARRIERS TO GROUND BOEING 737 MAX 8 AIRCRAFTS

In an exclusive interview with The Associated Press, Asrat Begashaw says the airline has not decided where to send the data and voice records of the flight’s last moments.

He says that "we have a range of options. What we can say is we don’t have the capability to probe it here in Ethiopia."

The Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft crashed shortly after takeoff Sunday, killing all 157 people on board. The disaster is the second with a Max 8 plane in just five months and has set off a wave of groundings of the planes around the world.

Hong Kong will ban the operation of all Boeing 737 Max aircraft "into, out of and over" the key Asian aviation hub beginning at 6 p.m. Wednesday.

The announcement from the Civil Aviation Department cited the crash of two of the planes within less than five months and said the ban would continue "until further notice."

The statement said: "The CAD has been closely monitoring the developments, the investigation progress and the information from relevant aviation authorities."

MULTIPLE COUNTRIES GROUND BOEING 737 MAX JETS AFTER ETHIOPIAN CRASH; FAA SAYS PLANES CAN STILL BE OPERATED

It said the CAD had noted that the U.S. Federation Aviation Administration has affirmed the planes’ airworthiness and that investigations were ongoing.

It said the department has been in close contact with the FAA and other the relevant organizations, including the two airlines, SpiceJet of India and Russia’s Globus Airlines, that use the aircraft to operate flights into and out of Hong Kong International Airport.

Much of the world, including the entire European Union, grounded the Boeing jetliner involved in the Ethiopian Airlines crash or banned it from their airspace, leaving the United States as one of the few remaining operators of the plane involved in two deadly accidents in five months.

The European Aviation Safety Agency took steps to keep the Boeing 737 Max 8 out of the air, joining Asian and Middle Eastern governments and carriers that also had safety concerns in the aftermath of Sunday’s crash, which killed all 157 people on board.

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Referring to the Lion Air crash in Indonesia that killed 189 people last year, European regulators said Tuesday that "similar causes may have contributed to both events."

British regulators indicated possible trouble with a reportedly damaged flight data recorder.

Source: Fox News World

An Army captain from the Chicago area and two brothers on an adventure before one was set to become a father were among the Americans killed when an Ethiopian Airlines jetliner plunged out of the sky on Sunday.

Antoine Lewis, 40, of Matteson, Ill., was a passenger on Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 when the jetliner crashed shortly after takeoff, killing all 157 people onboard, according to Matteson Mayor Sheila Chalmers-Currin.

"I was devastated. Shocked and devastated," she told FOX32. "He was a humanitarian, a faith-driven man."

Lewis was in Africa doing Christian missionary work at the time of the air disaster. The 40-year-old enlisted in the army as a third-generation family member before going on to serve in Afghanistan, WGN reported.

FAA SAYS BOEING 737 MAX JETS CAN BE OPERATED DESPITE AUSTRALIA, CHINA GROUNDING THE PLANE

His father, Rodney Lewis, told WLS-TV he was stationed in Ottawa before leaving to go to Ethiopia.

Antoine Lewis was in Africa doing Christian missionary work at the time of the air disaster.

Antoine Lewis was in Africa doing Christian missionary work at the time of the air disaster. (Facebook)

"He was also stationed in South Korea, he was a military man, he loved it, he was moving up through the military," he said. "He went in as an enlisted man and he got his undergraduate degree and his graduate degree."

Lewis had planned to start a business or charity and build a home in Africa following his retirement from the military in a few years, according to family members. He leaves behind a wife and 15-year-old son.

One last trip before fatherhood turns deadly

Mel Riffel and his brother, Bennett Riffel, were on one last adventure before he was to become a father in May.

Mel Riffel and his brother, Bennett Riffel, were on one last adventure before he was to become a father in May. (Facebook)

Brothers Mel and Bennett Riffel were on one last adventure before Mel was expecting to become a father in May when they were killed in the crash.

The brothers from Redding, Calif. had been in Australia before visiting Africa, Redding Chamber of Commerce President Jake Mangas told the Record Searchlight. Mangas said he is close friends with the brothers’ parents, Ike and Susan Riffel.

"Our family is devastated for Ike and Susan and certainly for Melvin’s wife, Brittney," Mangas told the newspaper. "They are wonderful, faith-filled people and if there is any encouragement to me, it’s in this difficult circumstance, I know they are surrounded by a community that loves them very much."

Parishioners at St. Joseph Church and School spent Monday placing flowers in the brothers’ memory.  Both attended the church elementary school and their mother is the parish secretary, according to KRCR-TV.

ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES PLANE’S BLACK BOX RECOVERED AFTER DEADLY CRASH, BUT IS REPORTEDLY DAMAGED

"The community, we’ve been through a lot of things this past year, this year," Father Fred Gucor told the television station. "Very supportive community, just this morning after the Mass, people are offering prayer, offering them help, anything, anything."

In a statement to KRCR, a spokesperson for Ike and Susan Riffel said they were appreciating the outpouring so far.

"We appreciate the outpouring of love and support from the community. We ask for continued prayers," the spokesperson said.

‘Great writer and an avid surfer’

Matt Vecere was among the 157 people killed in an Ethiopian Airlines crash.

Matt Vecere was among the 157 people killed in an Ethiopian Airlines crash. (IQAir)

A man originally from New Jersey who worked for a company that develops air quality products was also among the dead.

Matt Vecere grew up in Sea Isle City and studied ocean engineering at the Florida Institute of Technology. He later moved back to New Jersey when he transferred to Stockton University, FOX29 reported.

In 2005, Vecere moved to California, where he was living at the time of the crash while working for IQ Air, a Swiss-based company that develops air quality products. In a statement posted to Twitter, the company said it was "greatly saddened by the loss of our friend and colleague."

"Matt was a great writer and an avid surfer with a passion for helping others," the company said. "Our hearts are with Matt’s family and all who lost their lives in this tragedy."

‘Always had a smile on his face’

Mucaad Hussein of St. Cloud, Minnesota was on his way to visit relatives in Kenya when he was among those who perished.

Mucaad Hussein of St. Cloud, Minnesota was on his way to visit relatives in Kenya when he was among those who perished. (Facebook)

Mucaad Hussein of St. Cloud, Minnesota was on his way to visit relatives in Kenya when he ended up on the doomed flight.

Friends told FOX9 that Hussein was in his early 30s and had come to Minnesota in the 12th grade from Ethiopia. He later became a U.S. citizen, graduated from Apollo High School in St. Cloud and then studied at both St. Cloud Technical College and St. Cloud State.

“We used to play soccer together—very much involved in the youth soccer,” longtime friend Haji Yussuf told FOX9. “He was involved in a lot of different teams here in St. Cloud—youth programs. He was very visible in the community—very social, very outgoing—always smiling—always had a smile on his face.”

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Hussein an activist who was involved with local politics, loved to play soccer, FOX9 reported.

Aviation experts from the Federal Aviation Administration arrived at the crash site Tuesday outside the capital, Addis Ababa, with representatives from the National Transportation Safety Board to join the Ethiopian-led investigation.

The FAA said it expects Boeing will soon complete improvements to an automated anti-stall system suspected of contributing to the deadly crash of another new Boeing 737 Max 8 in October, and update training requirements and related flight crew manuals.

Boeing has said it has no reason to pull the popular aircraft from the skies.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Source: Fox News National

Authorities sifting through the crash site where Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 plunged from the sky — killing all 157 people on board – said they recovered the aircraft’s so-called "black box" Monday, a critical discovery in the search for what caused the disaster.

Ethiopian Airlines announced on Twitter the Digital Flight Data Recorder and Cockpit Voice Recorder had both been recovered from the crash site at Bishoftu, or Debre Zeit, located some 31 miles south of where the plane took off from the capital of Addis Ababa.

An airline official, however, told The Associated Press the box is partially damaged and cautioned: "we will see what we can retrieve from it."

Forensic experts from Israel had arrived to help with the investigation, Ethiopian Airlines’ spokesman Asrat Begashaw told reporters. Ethiopian authorities are leading the investigation into the crash with assistance from the U.S., Kenya and others.

Rescuers work at the scene of an Ethiopian Airlines flight crash near Bishoftu, or Debre Zeit, south of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Monday, March 11, 2019.

Rescuers work at the scene of an Ethiopian Airlines flight crash near Bishoftu, or Debre Zeit, south of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Monday, March 11, 2019. (AP Photo/Mulugeta Ayene)

"These kinds of things take time," said Kenya’s transport minister, James Macharia.

CHINA GROUNDS ALL BOEING 737 MAX 8 PLANES AFTER ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES CRASH KILLS NEARLY 160 PASSENGERS

Red Cross workers were among those who could be seen in photos picking through debris in the crater where the Boeing 737 MAX 8 crashed minutes after takeoff.

Parts of the plane wreckage with rescue workers at the crash site at Bishoftu, or Debre Zeit, outside Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Monday, March 11, 2019, where Ethiopia Airlines Flight 302 crashed Sunday.

Parts of the plane wreckage with rescue workers at the crash site at Bishoftu, or Debre Zeit, outside Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Monday, March 11, 2019, where Ethiopia Airlines Flight 302 crashed Sunday. (AP Photo/Mulugeta Ayene)

Items such as passports, personal documents and shredded books were among the items that littered the field. People from 35 countries, including the U.S., died in the Sunday morning crash, which occurred six minutes after the plane took off from Ethiopia’s capital en route to Nairobi. Ethiopian Airlines said the senior pilot issued a distress call and was told to return but all contact was lost shortly afterward.

A passenger passport lies on the ground at the scene of an Ethiopian Airlines flight crash near Bishoftu, or Debre Zeit, south of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Monday, March 11, 2019.

A passenger passport lies on the ground at the scene of an Ethiopian Airlines flight crash near Bishoftu, or Debre Zeit, south of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Monday, March 11, 2019. (AP Photo/Mulugeta Ayene)

Even though it’s not yet known what caused the new plane to crash in good weather, Ethiopian Airlines announced it decided to ground its remaining four 737 Max 8s until further notice. The disaster had some similarities to the crash of a Lion Air jet of the same Boeing model in Indonesian seas last year, which also occurred minutes after takeoff, killing 189 people.

"Although we don’t yet know the cause of the accident, we had to decide to ground the particular fleet as extra safety precaution," the airline said in a statement.

The decision by Ethiopian Airlines to ground its fleet of the aircraft came after earlier announcements by aviation authorities in China and Indonesia to ground the aircraft.

A spokesman says Ethiopian Airlines has grounded all its Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft as a safety precaution, following the crash of one of its planes in which 157 people were killed.

A spokesman says Ethiopian Airlines has grounded all its Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft as a safety precaution, following the crash of one of its planes in which 157 people were killed. (AP Photo/Mulugeta Ayene)

But Andrew Herdman, director general of the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines, told Reuters it was unusual to ground a specific plane type unless a specific issue had been identified and could be inspected.

“In this case it is not clear what the action item is, having done the suspension,” he told the news agency. “What is lacking now is what happened in this case. That means finding the black boxes and piecing together other circumstantial evidence from air traffic control recordings and so on.”

GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS, DOCTORS AMONG ETHIOPIAN CRASH VICTIMS

Other safety experts also cautioned against linking the two air disasters before more is known by investigators.

This photo taken Monday, Feb. 11, 2019 shows an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737-800 parked at Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

This photo taken Monday, Feb. 11, 2019 shows an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737-800 parked at Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)

"I do hope, though, that people will wait for the first results of the investigation instead of jumping to conclusions based on the very little facts that we know so far," Harro Ranter, founder of the Aviation Safety Network, told the Associated Press.

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Boeing said in a statement Sunday a technical team will be traveling to the crash site to provide technical assistance under the direction of the Ethiopia Accident Investigation Bureau and U.S. National Transportation Safety Board.

"We extend our heartfelt sympathies to the families and loved ones of the passengers and crew on board and stand ready to support the Ethiopian Airlines team," the company said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Source: Fox News World

An Ethiopian Airlines jet faltered and crashed Sunday shortly after takeoff from the country’s capital, spreading global grief to families in 35 countries that had a loved one among the 157 people who were killed.

Three Austrian physicians. The co-founder of an international aid organization. A career ambassador. The wife and children of a Slovak legislator. A Nigerian-born Canadian college professor, author and satirist. They were all among the passengers who died Sunday morning when the Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 jetliner crashed shortly after takeoff from Addis Ababa en route to Nairobi, Kenya.

The airline has said eight Americans were killed.

Body bags were spread out nearby while Red Cross and other workers looked for remains.

Around the world, families were gripped by grief. At the Addis Ababa airport, a woman called a phone number in vain. “Where are you, my son?” she said, in tears. Others cried as they approached the terminal.

At the Nairobi airport, hopes quickly dimmed for loved ones. “I just pray that he is safe or he was not on it,” said Agnes Muilu, who had come to pick up her brother.

Henom Esayas, whose sister’s husband was killed, told The Associated Press they were startled when a stranger picked up their frantic calls to his phone, told them he had found it in the debris and promptly switched it off.

DEBRIS OFF MADAGASCAR ‘MOST LIKELY’ FROM MALAYSIA AIRLINES FLIGHT 370, REPORT SAYS

Adrian Toole said his 36-year-old daughter Joanna was traveling for her work for the United Nations. (Facebook)

Adrian Toole said his 36-year-old daughter Joanna was traveling for her work for the United Nations. (Facebook)

The father of a British woman named Joanna Toole has told the DevonLive website that he was informed she’d died in the crash.

Adrian Toole said his 36-year-old daughter Joanna was traveling for her work for the United Nations.

He told the website she was a fervent environmentalist who had worked on animal welfare issues since she was a child.

He said, “Joanna’s work was not a job, it was her vocation.”

Toole said his daughter used to bring home pigeons and rats in need of care and had traveled to the remote Faroe Islands to try to stop whaling there.

She is one of seven British nationals confirmed to have died in the crash.

According to her Facebook page, she worked for the U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization.

The Ethiopian Airlines flight crashed shortly after takeoff from Ethiopia's capital on Sunday morning, killing all 157 on board, authorities said, as grieving families rushed to airports in Addis Ababa and the destination, Nairobi. (AP Photo/Yidnek Kirubel)

The Ethiopian Airlines flight crashed shortly after takeoff from Ethiopia’s capital on Sunday morning, killing all 157 on board, authorities said, as grieving families rushed to airports in Addis Ababa and the destination, Nairobi. (AP Photo/Yidnek Kirubel)

Shocked leaders of the United Nations, the U.N. refugee agency and the World Food Program announced that colleagues had been on the plane. The U.N. migration agency estimated some 19 U.N.-affiliated employees were killed. Both Addis Ababa and Nairobi are major hubs for humanitarian workers, and many people were on their way to a large U.N. environmental conference set to begin Monday in Nairobi.

The Addis Ababa-Nairobi route links East Africa’s two largest economic powers. Travelers and tour groups crowd the Addis Ababa airport’s waiting areas, along with businessmen from China, Gulf nations and elsewhere.

A list of the dead released by Ethiopian Airlines included passengers from China, the United States, Saudi Arabia, Nepal, Israel, India and Somalia. Kenya lost 32 citizens. Canada, 18. Several countries including the United States lost four or more people.

The State Department said it would contact victims’ family members directly and that “out of respect for the privacy of the families, we won’t have any additional comments about the victims.”

A brief State Department statement said U.S. embassies in Addis Ababa and Nairobi were working with Ethiopia’s government and Ethiopian Airlines “to offer all possible assistance.”

Ethiopian officials declared Monday a day of mourning.

The Ethiopian plane was new, delivered to the airline in November. The Boeing 737 Max 8 was one of 30 meant for the airline, Boeing said in July. The jet’s last maintenance was on Feb. 4, and it had flown just 1,200 hours.

The plane crashed six minutes after departure, plowing into the ground at Hejere near Bishoftu, or Debre Zeit, some 31 miles outside Addis Ababa, at 8:44 a.m.

There was no immediate indication why the plane went down in clear weather while on a flight to Nairobi, the capital of neighboring Kenya.

Members of the Ethiopian community taking part in a special prayer for the victims of the Ethiopian Airlines flight ET302 crash, at the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church of Canada Saint Mary Cathedral in Toronto, on Sunday. (Christopher Katsarov/The Canadian Press via AP)

Members of the Ethiopian community taking part in a special prayer for the victims of the Ethiopian Airlines flight ET302 crash, at the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church of Canada Saint Mary Cathedral in Toronto, on Sunday. (Christopher Katsarov/The Canadian Press via AP)

In the U.S., the Federal Aviation Administration said it would join the National Transportation Safety Board in assisting Ethiopian authorities with the crash investigation. Boeing planned to send a technical team to Ethiopia.

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The crash shattered more than two years of relative calm in African skies, where travel had long been chaotic. It also was a serious blow to state-owned Ethiopian Airlines, which has expanded to become the continent’s largest and best-managed carrier and turned Addis Ababa into the gateway to Africa.

African air travel has improved in recent years, with the International Air Transport Association in November noting “two years free of any fatalities on any aircraft type.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Source: Fox News World


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