Ethiopia's transport minister Dagmawit Moges says analysis of data from Boeing 737 MAX 8 black boxes show 'clear similarities' with October's Lion Air crash. Meanwhile, funerals were held for Ethiopia crash victims with little to bury.
Black box data recovered from an Ethiopian Airlines plane that crashed last week shows "clear similarities" with a recent crash in Indonesia of the same type of aircraft, Ethiopia's transport minister said on Sunday.
While declining to give details, Dagmawit Moges told journalists the parallels would be the "subject of further study during the investigation," with a preliminary report issued in "30 days".
The announcement came a week after Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 plummeted into a field southeast of Addis Ababa minutes into its flight to Nairobi, killing all 157 people onboard.
Are countries making premature decisions by grounding Boeing 737 MAX fleet without a complete probe into Ethiopia plane crash? pic.twitter.com/k0qXUvftd9— TRT World Now (@TRTWorldNow) March 13, 2019
The disaster caused the worldwide grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft involved after aviation regulators noticed similarities with the October crash of an Indonesian Lion Air 737 MAX 8 that killed all 189 passengers and crew.
The US-based Boeing faces the challenge of proving the jets are safe to fly amid suspicions that faulty sensors and software contributed to the two crashes in less than six months.
Funerals held in Ethiopia
Meanwhile, Ethiopians held funerals for friends and relatives who perished in last week's crash.
Families in 35 nations were left bereaved when the Boeing aircraft plummeted from the sky just minutes into its flight to Nairobi.
One week after the crash, relatives of the 17 Ethiopian victims gathered with hundreds of others at Holy Trinity Cathedral in Addis Ababa, sobbing and holding portraits of their loved ones as an Ethiopian Orthodox priest said the last rites.
Ethiopia and China ground all Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes until further notice in the wake of an Ethiopian Airlines crash involving the same model pic.twitter.com/UVmKbUl2u8— TRT World Now (@TRTWorldNow) March 11, 2019
"What I can't forget is that she left an eight-month-old child and didn't come back," said Meselech Petros, whose sister Amma Tesfamariam was a flight attendant on the doomed aircraft.
Her 28-year-old sister wasn't supposed to work that day, but had gone in to cover for a colleague.
Not clear what's inside coffins
Caskets draped in the Ethiopian flag were brought to the cathedral in a convoy of black hearses accompanied by hundreds of mourners.
But it was not clear what the coffins contained.
Witnesses said the plane nose-dived into a field southeast of the capital, with the force of the impact leaving few bodies intact.
On Thursday, as grieving families and friends visited the area where the plane went down, an AFP correspondent saw them being handed plastic water bottles filled with earth from the site.
Ethiopia's government has said it may take up to six months to identify the remains.