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Ethiopia receives tracking data from deadly crash

by Onize Ohikere
Posted 3/18/19, 11:28 am

Data from the black box of a deadly plane crash a week ago showed “clear similarities” with an earlier Boeing 737 crash in Indonesia, the Ethiopian transport minister said Sunday. French investigators who analyzed the in-flight data recorder confirmed they successfully downloaded the data and sent it back to the Ethiopian investigation team. The Boeing 737 Max 8 crashed on March 10 shortly after takeoff, killing all 157 people from 35 countries on board. Authorities recovered the flight recorders in good condition, which allowed them to extract “almost all the data inside,” Ethiopian Transport Minister Dagmawit Moges said.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration previously noted that tracking data showed similarities between the Ethiopian flight and an Indonesian Lion Air Boeing 737 Max 8 that crashed in October 2018, killing 189 people. The United States and numerous other countries grounded the Boeing 737 Max 8 after last week’s crash.

The FAA allowed Boeing to handle some of the safety assessments for the plane in 2015, and FAA technical experts said managers pushed them to speed up the certification process since the aircraft’s development was nine months behind the rival Airbus A320neo, The Seattle Times reported.

On Sunday, thousands of mourners gathered for a mass funeral for 17 Ethiopian victims. They carried empty caskets since authorities expect the identification of remains to take months. Families of the victims instead received 2.2-pound bags of earth from the crash site.

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Onize Ohikere

Onize is WORLD's Africa reporter. She is a World Journalism Institute graduate and earned a journalism degree from Minnesota State University-Moorhead. Onize resides in Abuja, Nigeria. Follow her on Twitter @onize_ohiks.

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