, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 11 – Ethiopian Airlines has recovered flight data and voice recorders of the ill-fated flight ET302 that crashed Sunday six minutes after take-off from Bole International Airport, killing all the 157 persons on board.
The airline announced the recovery of the Digital Flight Data Recorder and Cockpit Voice Recorder in the latest information bulletin released at 1.40pm on Monday.
Earlier in the day, the airline’s Manager in Charge of Operations in Kenya, Yilma Goshu Gobena, told reporters in Nairobi all Boeing 737-8 Max planes operated by the airline had been grounded out of caution.
“We’ve grounded all Boeing 737-8 Max planes which Ethiopian Airlines was operating and which was involved in the accident yesterday as a precaution safety measure. This doesn’t mean that the incident was related to any defects on this specific fleet,” he said.
Gobena said the airline was focused on conducting investigations to establish the cause of the accident.
He said the airline “is giving utmost focus and attention to comforting and counselling relatives and friends of passengers who were on board the flight.”
Kenya’s Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia who accompanied Gobena told the press a multi-agency disaster response team had been constituted to coordinate response, saying 25 families which lost their relatives in the plane crash had been notified.
“We have, out of the 32 Kenyan passengers who were on board the flight, managed to contact 25 families so we have about seven to go,” the CS said.
The multi-agency team headed by Captain Tom Ogeche, Director in Charge of Air Safety at the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority, includes the government chemist who Macharia said would travel to Addis Ababa to help in the process of identifying bodies of the 32 Kenyans who died in the plane crash.
“We do have the Government Chemist because we may have to travel for identification in Ethiopia,” he said.
The UN Habitat Executive Director Maimunah Sharif said the agency had lost 22 personnel in the crash who were heading to Nairobi to attend a global environment assembly which commenced on Monday.