Monday, January 25, 2010
BREAKING NEWS :Ethiopian Airlines jet crashes into sea off Beirut
An Ethiopian Airlines passenger plane with 92 people on board has crashed into the Mediterranean Sea shortly after take-off from Beirut airport.
Eyewitnesses say they saw a ball of fire in the sky before the jet, which was was bound for the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, crashed into the sea.
Wreckage from the plane has reportedly been seen off the Lebanese coast.
About 50 of the passengers on board were said to be Lebanese nationals, and most of the rest were Ethiopian.
The plane, believed to be a Boeing 737, is said to have disappeared from radar screens some five minutes after take-off in stormy weather at about 0200 local time.
The BBC's Natalia Antelava, in Beirut, reports that the Lebanese transport minister and other officials say a rescue operation is now under way, but it is not clear if there are any survivors.
Thousands of Ethiopians are employed as domestic helpers in Lebanon.
Ethiopian Airlines operates a regular flight between Addis Ababa from Beirut.