The doomed Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft’s “black box” of flight data and cockpit voice recorder have been found, according to reports.
An airline official, however, told the media that the box was partially damaged and: “We will see what we can retrieve from it.”
Ethiopian Airlines has grounded all of its Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft as “an extra safety precaution” following the crash of one of its planes in which 157 people were killed, a spokesperson said on Monday, as Ethiopia marked a day of mourning.
Although it wasn’t yet known what caused the crash of the new plane in clear weather outside Addis Ababa on Sunday, the airline decided to ground its remaining four 737 Max 8s until further notice, spokesperson Asrat Begashaw said.
Ethiopian Airlines had been using five of the planes and awaiting delivery of 25 more.
Some other airlines around the world were deciding to do the same.
China’s civilian aviation authority ordered all Chinese airlines to temporarily ground their Max 8s, and Caribbean carrier Cayman Airways said it was temporarily grounding the two it operates.
Red Cross workers slowly picked through the widely scattered debris near the blackened crash crater, looking for the remains of 157 lives. A shredded book. A battered passport. Business cards in multiple languages. Heavy machinery dug for larger pieces of the plane.
Forensic experts from Israel had arrived to help with the investigation, said Ethiopian Airlines’ spokesperson Asrat. Ethiopian authorities will lead the investigation into the crash, assisted by the US, Kenya and others.
People from 35 countries died in the Sunday morning crash six minutes after the plane took off from Ethiopia’s capital en route to Nairobi.
Ethiopian Airlines said the senior pilot issued a distress call and was told to return but all contact was lost shortly afterwards.
The plane ploughed into the ground at Hejere near Bishoftu.