Ethiopian aircraft crashes into sea

Monday, January 25, 2010

Beirut - An Ethiopian Airlines aircraft, with 92 people on board, fell into the Mediterranean Sea shortly after taking off from Beirut on Monday.

The airplane, said to be a Boeing 737, crashed into the sea minutes after it left the Beirut International Airport around 2:10am local time.

The ET409 flight, which was bound for Addis Ababa, was carrying 83 passengers and nine crew members.

Around 50 passengers were Lebanese nationals, while most of the others were from Ethiopia, local media said.

Poor weather conditions may have contributed to the accident as the airplane was flying in storms. The wreckage could be seen from Lebanese shore by locals, according to media reports.

A rescue team is on the scene and is working to find any possible survivors.

As Ethiopia's flag carrier, Ethiopian Airlines now serves 56 international destinations. It operates 37 aircraft including five Boeing 737.