90 feared dead as Ethiopian Airlines plane crashes near Beirut
An Ethiopian Airlines plane with 90 people on board crashed into the Mediterranean Sea Monday minutes after taking off from Beirut, Lebanon. At least nine bodies have already been recovered, but no survivors, and wreckage can be seen in the sea near the crash site.
Officials said 82 passengers and 8 crew members were on board the Boeing 737, which disappeared from radar during stormy weather. The aircraft was on its way to the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa from Beirut International Airport.
More than half the people on flight 409 were Lebanese and most of the other passengers were Ethiopian. Marla Pietton, wife of French ambassador to Lebanon Denis Pietton, was among of those aboard the plane.
The cause of the crash was not immediately known, but Lebanese President Michel Sleiman said he did not think it was a terrorist attack.
Ethiopian Airlines has a relatively good history, but in a 1996 hijacking incident, one of its planes ran out of fuel and crashed into the sea.