Ethiopian Airlines Pilot Flew the Wrong Way

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Lebanon's transportation minister has given an explanation for the Ethiopian Airlines jet that crashed into the Mediterranean Sea yesterday: the jet's pilot was flying the wrong way.

The Associated Press reports that Ghazi Aridi, Lebanon's transportation minister, said that Beirut's control tower asked the jet's pilot to correct his path, but that he made a "very fast and strange turn before disappearing completely from the radar."

Lebanese officials say the investigation into the crash is ongoing. The plane went down in flames yesterday around 2:30 A.M. local time, in a night of lightning and thunderstorms. Ninety passengers were on board, and no survivors have yet been found.

The search-and-rescue mission in the Mediterranean found 20 bodies, but has not yet yielded the plane's black box or flight data recorder, which may determine the cause of the crash. Officials ruled out terrorism or sabotage as the cause for the crash yesterday. The plane was headed to Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa.

The AP reports that Marla Pietton, wife of the French ambassador to Lebanon, was among those on board.

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