Some Countries Ground Boeing 737 Max 8 after Deadly Ethiopia Crash

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11 March, 2019

Airlines in Ethiopia, China and Indonesia grounded Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft on Monday after one of the planes crashed in Ethiopia, killing 157 people.

Ethiopia Airlines said Monday

the flight recorders from the plane had been found. The Boeing 737 Max 8 crashed six minutes after takeoff on Sunday from Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa. The plane was headed to Nairobi, Kenya when it crashed into a field in clear weather.

Investigators are hoping the recorders, also called black boxes, will provide information about what might have caused the crash. Red Cross workers picked through the wreckage, spread over a wide area, in search of human remains. Ethiopian authorities are leading the investigation, with help from teams from the United States, Kenya and other nations.

Second deadly crash

The Sunday crash was very similar to one last year involving a Boeing 737 Max 8 belonging to Indonesia's Lion Air. That crash killed 189 people when the Lion Air plane went down shortly after takeoff from Indonesia's capital Jakarta. Indonesian investigators have not yet identified a cause for the Lion Air crash.

The head of Ethiopia Airlines said there were no known problems with its aircraft before Sunday's flight. It had received the plane in November and records showed it had flown just 1,200 hours.

The latest crash was likely to renew questions about the 737 Max 8. It is the newest version of Boeing's popular passenger aircraft, first introduced in 1967.

Ethiopia Airlines said it had decided to ground its remaining four 737 Max 8 planes as "an extra safety precaution." The company had been using five of the planes and expected to receive 25 more from Boeing.

China's Civil Aviation Administration said it had ordered Chinese-based airlines to ground all 737 Max 8 aircraft. Officials said the action was ordered to fit a policy of "zero tolerance for security risks." China Southern Airlines is one of Boeing's biggest buyers of 737 Max 8 aircraft.

In Indonesia, officials ordered the country's 737 Max 8 planes grounded to carry out inspections.

Boeing said it did not plan to issue any new guidance to plane operators following the crash. The company said it was sending a technical team to the crash site to assist investigators.

In a statement, Boeing said it was "deeply saddened to learn of the passing of the passengers and crew" on the Ethiopian Airlines plane. The company always puts safety first, the statement said. It added that Boeing was "taking every measure" to fully understand all information about the crash.

People from 35 countries died in the Ethiopia Airlines crash. Kenya lost 32 people, more than any other country. The United Nations estimated that at least 21 people connected to the organization were killed in the crash. They were thought to be traveling to a major U.N. environmental meeting set to start Monday in Nairobi.

I'm Bryan Lynn.

Bryan Lynn wrote this story for VOA Learning English, based on reports from the Associated Press, Reuters and Agence France-Presse. Hai Do was the editor.

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Words in This Story

precaution n. something done in an effort to prevent bad things from happening in the future

tolerance n. the ability to accept something


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