Ethiopian airliner ’shot down by missile’?

feww.wordpress.com
1-25-2010

Ethiopian airliner ’shot down by Israeli missile’

Posted by feww on January 25, 2010

Ethiopian jet crashed into the Mediterranean

Informed sources advise the blog that the plane may have been shot down by an Israeli missile.

An Ethiopian Airlines jet with 90 people on board crashed into the Mediterranean sea earlier today.


An Ethiopian Airlines 737-800.  Photo released by Boeing.
Image may be subject to copyright.

The plane crashed shortly after take-off from Beirut international airport at about 2:00am local time on Monday, airport sources said, Reuters reported.

“The Boeing 737-800 disappeared off the radar some five minutes after taking off, shortly after its scheduled departure time of 2:10 a.m. (7:10 p.m. EST), during a thunderstorm and heavy rain, the sources said. It was heading for Addis Ababa.”

Eyewitnesses say the plane exploded midair and they saw a “ball of fire” in the air before the plane crashed off Na’ameh village, a few kilometers south of Beirut, according to various sources.

“(The crash) site has been identified three-and-a-half km (two miles) west of the (coastal) village of Na’ameh,” officials said, Reuters reported.

There were Eighty-three passengers and seven crew onboard the airliner, according to the plane’s manifest, Reuters reported sources as saying.

“About 50 passengers were Lebanese nationals, three with dual nationalities: British, Canadian and Russian. Most of the others were Ethiopians. Hundreds of Ethiopians work as domestic helpers in Lebanon.”

The plane had flown to Beirut from Addis Ababa earlier in the night and was returning to Ethiopia.

Marla Pietton, wife of the French ambassador to Lebanon Denis Pietton, was on the downed plane, according to the French embassy.

“We saw a flash in the sky…  We saw a flash over the sea and it was the plane falling.” Another eyewitness told reporters.

Previous incidents of passenger jets destroyed by military shoot-down include:

  • Korean Air Lines Flight 007 was shot down by Soviet air force jet on September 1, 1983, over the Sea of Japan, west of Sakhalin island, after it entered prohibited Soviet airspace.
  • Iran Air Flight 655 was shot down over the Strait of Hormuz by missiles fired from the U.S. Navy’s guided missile cruiser USS Vincennes, killing all 290 passengers and crew onboard, including 66 children, on Sunday 3 July 1988.
  • On July 17th, 1996, TWA flight 800, a Boeing 747-131, which had just taken off from JFK airport heading to Paris, France, was struck by an “external object” believed to be a military test missile, exploded and fell into the Atlantic ocean, killing all 230 people onboard.

State-owned carrier, Ethiopian airline flies to about 60 destinations, and is said to have a “good” safety record. In 1996 one of the airlines’ planes was hijacked and later ditched into sea off Comoros killing 123 people. Another 52 people survived the incident.

READ FULL STORY HERE

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