Ethiopia to send plane’s black box abroad, as grief grows

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By Associated Press

THE black box from the Boeing jet that crashed and killed all 157 people on board will be sent overseas for analysis but no country has been chosen, an Ethiopian Airlines spokesperson said on Wednesday, as much of the world grounded or barred the plane model and grieving families arrived at the disaster site.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Asrat Begashaw said the airline has “a range of options” for the data and voice records of the flight’s last moments. “What we can say is we don’t have the capability to probe it here in Ethiopia,” he said.

The Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft crashed shortly after takeoff on Sunday, killing all 157 people on board. The disaster is the second with a Max 8 plane in just five months.

While some aviation experts have warned against drawing conclusions until more information on the latest crash emerges, much of the world, including the entire European Union, has grounded the Boeing jetliner or banned it from their airspace.

That leaves the United States as one of the few remaining operators of the plane.

“Similar causes may have contributed to both events,” European regulators said, referring to the Lion Air crash in Indonesia that killed 189 people last year.

British regulators indicated possible trouble with a reportedly damaged flight data recorder, which could hamper the retrieval of information.

Some aviation experts have warned that finding answers in this crash could take months.

Asrat, the Ethiopian Airlines spokesperson, told the AP that the remains of victims recovered so far are in freezers but forensic DNA work for identifications had not yet begun.

The dead came from 35 countries.

More devastated families arrived at the crash site on Wednesday, some supported by loved ones and wailing.