On 25th January, an Ethiopian Airlines passenger plane with 90 people on board crashed into the Mediterranean Sea shortly after take-off from Beirut airport. Eyewitnesses said they saw a ball of fire in the sky before the Addis Ababa-bound Flight ET409, which had taken off in stormy weather, fell into the sea. No survivors were found. Most of those on board were Lebanese or Ethiopian. There were also two Britons as well as citizens of Turkey, France, Russia, Canada, Syria and Iraq, Ethiopian Airlines said in a statement. Among them was the wife of the French ambassador in Beirut.
The plane, a Boeing 737-800, was carrying 82 passengers and eight crew, Ethiopian Airlines said. This model can seat 189 passengers. It disappeared from radar screens some five minutes after take-off in stormy weather at about 0200 local time, near the village of Naameh, about 3.5km (2 miles) from the coast. The ‘black box’ recorder has been recovered and investigation teams are working to understand the cause of this accident.