ADDIS ABABA – The families of people killed in the Ethiopian Airlines plane crash stormed out of a meeting with the airline in Addis Ababa on Thursday, complaining of a lack of information.
“I’m so angry,” said Yemeni citizen Abdulmajid Shariff, 38, who lost his brother-in-law in Sunday’s crash. “They called us to give us a report on bodies and the reasons for the crash but there was no information.”
“I can’t find you! Where are you?” said one Ethiopian woman, draped in traditional white mourning shawl, as she held a framed portrait of her brother in the charred and debris-strewn field.
Riyadh resident Sultan Al-Mutairi, whose brother was among the 157 people killed in the crash, told Reuters: “We did not get any answers (at the meeting).”
Meanwhile, investigators in France took possession of the crashed Ethiopian Airlines jet’s black boxes on Thursday, seeking clues into a disaster that has grounded Boeing’s global 737 MAX fleet.
Sunday’s crash after take-off from Addis Ababa killed 157 people from 35 nations in the second such calamity involving Boeing’s flagship new model in six months.
Possible links between the accidents have rocked the aviation industry, scared passengers worldwide, and left the world’s biggest planemaker scrambling to prove the safety of a money-spinning model intended to be the standard for decades.
After an apparent tussle over where the investigation should be held, the flight data and cockpit voice recorders arrived in Paris and were handed over to France’s Bureau of Enquiry and Analysis for Civil Aviation Safety (BEA) agency.
A BEA spokesman said he did not know what condition the black boxes were in. “First we will try to read the data,” he said, adding that the first analyses could take between half a day and several days.
WATCH: Flight recorders from a doomed Ethiopian Airlines flight arrived in France for analysis as investigators try to determine what caused the crash
The investigation has added urgency since the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on Wednesday grounded the 737 MAX aircraft citing satellite data and evidence from the scene indicating some similarities and “the possibility of a shared cause” with October’s crash in Indonesia that killed 189 people.
Though it maintains the planes are safe, Boeing has supported the FAA move. Its stock has fallen about 11 percent since the crash, wiping nearly $26 billion off its market value.
It is unclear how long the Boeing aircraft will be grounded.
© 2019 Reuters