Lebanon crash: Black box recovered

2010-02-07 16:55

Beirut - One of the black boxes has been recovered from an Ethiopian Airlines plane which crashed in the sea off Lebanon last month killing 90 people, the army said on Sunday.

"The Lebanese navy has recovered a black box from the Ethiopian plane and it has been transported to Beirut naval base to be handed over" to crash investigators, it said in a statement, without specifying the day of the find.

Transport Minister Ghazi Aridi announced on Saturday that searchers had located the two boxes and Lebanese army divers had gone down to retrieve them.

The Boeing 737-800 went down before dawn on January 25, just minutes after take-off during stormy weather from Beirut airport. It was bound for Addis Ababa with 83 passengers and seven crew on board.

No survivors were found from Flight 409, and only 15 bodies have so far been recovered.

Lebanese officials have said the captain was instructed by the control tower to change to a certain heading, but that the aircraft then took a different course.

The black boxes are expected to contain data to explain the circumstances of the crash.

Experts have told AFP that the stormy weather may not have been the only reason for the crash, and that the aircraft may have had engine or hydraulics problems.