Ethiopian Air Chief Says Reports on January Crash ‘Misleading’

The head of Ethiopian Airlines is accusing Lebanese authorities of spreading misinformation about the cause of last month's plane crash that killed 90 people

ET-409 Update: Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Voice of America
Ethiopian Airlines Chief Executive Girma Wake says much of the information coming from Lebanon about the crash of flight ET409 has been purposely meant to mislead. The plane crashed into the sea moments after takeoff from Beirut in stormy weather in the early morning hours of January 25. Read more.

Ethiopia Warns Lebanon Over Plane Crash Investigation

Ethiopian Airlines CEO Girma Wake

February 24, 2010 (Addis Ababa) – Ethiopia warns the Lebanese government for trying to solicit political gains out of the crash investigation process of the Ethiopian airliner that occurred around Beirut, Lebanon. The nation also called upon the President and Secretary General of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to intervene in the row.

Briefing local journalists on the agenda, Transport and Communications Minister, Driba Kuma, said on Wednesday the Lebanese government continued providing incorrect and misleading information to media despite the cause of the accident remains undetermined.

“Ethiopia has repeatedly reminded the government of that country to refrain from releasing unfounded information to the media before the conclusion of the on-going investigation process,” he said, “But the government has continued leaking wrong and confusing information to media about the crash of ET-409”.

Ethiopia, once again, requests the Lebanese government in strongest terms to stop feeding the media wrong and misleading information about the crash of the ill-fated airliner, the minister warned.

According to the minister, the aforementioned senior officials of the international civil aviation organization have already responded positively to Ethiopia’s call.

A statement of the ministry indicated that the investigation launched to determine the causeof the crash still continues. The team set up to investigate the crash has finalized preparations to release a preliminary report on the accident in line with the rules and regulation of the ICAO.

The sole objective of the Ethiopian experts in the crash investigation team is to preserve the internationally-acclaimed aviation security record of the national carrier, the Ethiopian. However,the ministry said, the Lebanese government has been hiding relevant data, removing important information, and denying key information about the crisis for cheaper political gains.

It is to be recalled that Ethiopian airliner, ET-409, disappeared into the Mediterranean Sea with 82 passengers and eight crew members on board. The passengers include 24 Ethiopians, 51 Lebanese, and two British nationals as well as one passenger from Turkey, France, Russia, Canada, Syria, and Iraq.
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Source: Permanent Mission of Ethiopia to the United Nations

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More ET-409 News Updated: Wednesday, February 24, 2010

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Lebanese airport safety employees near the crash
site. Credit: REUTERS

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