Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 Crashes, Killing 157
Minutes after taking off from Addis Ababa on March 10, Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 bound for Nairobi, Kenya crashed, killing all 157 people on board. The crash occurred approximately six minutes after the flight took off, close to the village of Tulu Fara in Ethiopia, as reports BBC.
This incident is the second fatal crash of the Boeing 737 Max model in the last six months, says Al Jazeera. Last October, a Lion Air flight of the same model crashed ten minutes into its flight in Indonesia, killing 189 people. The Lion Air crash is still under investigation and the cause of the Ethiopian crash remains undetermined. However, BBC reports that the United States Federal Aviation Administration—working with the Ethiopian National Transportation Safety Board—concluded from site and satellite data that the two flights behaved “very similarly.”
So far, Ethiopia, citing lack of domestic facilities capable of analyzing the flight’s records, has transferred the recovered black boxes from the plane to France where they will be analyzed to determine the exact cause of the crash. The Flight Data Recorder and Cockpit Voice Recorder were sent to France rather than the United States due to a likely conflict of interest, according to Al Jazeera. Awo Allo, a lecturer in law at Keele University in England, told Al Jazeera, “To send the data recorders to the U.S.A. would be to allow a party with a vested interest to be a judge in its own case.”
Following the crash, over 50 countries, including the United States, China, and the countries of the European Union, have grounded all flights of the 737 Max model. As reported by CNN, Boeing has publicly recommended the temporary grounding of all such planes “out of an abundance of caution.”
Ethiopian Airlines had become a symbol of national pride for Ethiopia. The rapid growth of its fleet had turned Addis Ababa, the capital city, into an aviation hub, the Wall Street Journal reported.