SA transport department to help probe deadly Ethiopian Airlines crash

2019-03-12 12:15

Transport Minister Blade Nzimande says his department will work with its Ethiopian counterpart to investigate this weekend's fatal Ethiopian Airlines crash.

"South Africa, through its task team comprising all relevant state-owned entities and agencies, will collaborate with the Ethiopian counterparts to offer any necessary assistance or skill sets to ensure that there is a speedy conclusion of the investigation into this crash," spokesperson Ishmael Mnisi said in a statement on Tuesday.

The task team will include the South African Civil Aviation Authority, the Air Traffic Navigation Services and South African search and rescue members.

This comes after 149 passengers and eight crew members died when their plane crashed six minutes after taking off from Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa, on a flight to Nairobi on Sunday.

ALSO READ: WATCH: No survivors among 157 aboard Ethiopian Airlines flight involved in fatal crash, and no South Africans on board

Boeing's newest plane, the 737 MAX 8 jet, is under scrutiny for safety concerns after another incident less than six months ago with the same model, News24 earlier reported.

Ethiopian Airlines has since grounded its Boeing 737 MAX 8 from its fleet following the tragedy.

Comair's 'self-grounding' welcomed

On Monday, Comair seemingly caved in to public pressure and decided to remove its 737 Max from its flight schedule.

The South African Civil Aviation Authority welcomed Comair's "self-grounding", calling the decision commendable as the airline "puts the concerns, interests, and safety of its passengers and crew first".

Wrenelle Stander, executive director of Comair's airline division, said: "While Comair has done extensive preparatory work, prior to the introduction of the first 737-8 Max, into its fleet and remains confident in the inherent safety of the aircraft, it has decided temporarily not to schedule the aircraft while it consults with other operators, Boeing and technical experts."

ALSO READ: Ethiopian Airlines Crash: Comair pulls new Boeing 737 MAX 8 out of service

The cause of the crash is yet to be determined.

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Read more on:    ethiopian airlines  |  comair  |  blade ­nzimande  |  ethiopia  |  air travel  |  air crashes
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