ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia
(Xinhua) -- Fanu Getu, an Ethiopian
village guard, still shivers when talking about witnessing the
horrific aftermath of an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8
plane that crashed in his quiet farming village of Ejere, about
70 km east of Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa.
The Boeing 737 Max 8 plane crashed on Sunday morning in the
village, leaving all 157 people on board dead. The forceful
crash also created a 13 meter-deep crater in the area.
The plane which was travelling from Ethiopian capital Addis
Ababa to Kenyan capital Nairobi, crashed barely six minutes
Ethiopian authorities haven’t yet released a final report
into what caused the plane crash but have confirmed the pilot of
the doomed Boeing 737 Max 8 plane had radioed a distress call.
Speaking to Xinhua, Getu said it was his first time
witnessing a plane crash and he was initially unsure about what
to do first, but later overcame his shock to help emergency
response teams retrieve debris from the destroyed plane.
"I have collected body parts, pieces of the wreckage pieces
and passengers’ belongings, which I later handed over to
Ethiopian authorities," said Getu.
"I feel a deep sense of sorrow and pain with the plane crash.
"I wish strength and sympathy for victims’ families at this
sad moment," Getu said.
Getu wasn’t the only villager shaken by the airplane crash,
the worst-ever air disaster for the national air carrier
Ethiopian Airlines, which has a relatively good record when it
comes to air safety.
Gebeyehu Fekadu, another villager, vividly remembers the
events before and after the tragedy on Sunday morning, which he
admits will stay with him for the rest of his life.
"The plane was swinging widely with smoke coming from its
rear end just before it crashed.
"The force of the crash created a big sandstorm, temporarily
obscuring the crash site," recalled Fekadu.
"The plane crash I witnessed on Sunday has made me especially
sad," Fekadu said.
With Ethiopia reeling from its worst plane crash in its
history, the likes of Fekadu and Getu are hoping such tragedies
will no longer happen in the future, and hope the Ethiopian
government undertakes an exhaustive investigation into the
The Ethiopian government is already taking preventive
measures by announcing on Monday its decision to indefinitely
ground all its Boeing 737 Max 8 planes.
Also on Monday, Ethiopian Airlines announced it has found the
flight data and voice recorders, potentially helping speed up
the process to investigate the cause of the crash.
Boeing to update software
in 737 MAX airplane following Ethiopian crash
SAN FRANCISCO United States (Xinhua)
-- Top U.S.
aircraft manufacturer Boeing Company said Monday that it is
planning to make a safety upgrade to software that is to be
deployed across the 737 MAX fleet in the coming weeks.
Boeing said it is working with the U.S. Federal Aviation
Administration (FAA) to develop the software enhancement, which
the FAA hoped to mandate with an Airworthiness Directive no
later than April.
The Boeing announcement came one day after an aircraft of
Ethiopian Airlines crashed Sunday morning, killing all 157
passengers and crew members on board a 737 MAX 8 plane.
The plane crash was the second fatal incident involving the
same model in five months.
Another Boeing 737 MAX 8, flown by Indonesia’s Lion Air,
crashed soon after takeoff from Jakarta in October last year,
killing 189 people.
Boeing did not make direct reference to Sunday’s air crash of
Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 while announcing the software
upgrade plan on Monday, but it offered its "deepest condolences
to those who lost loved ones" on Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302.
The aircraft giant said a Boeing technical team is at the
crash site to provide technical assistance to the local
Boeing said it has been developing a flight control software
enhancement for the 737 MAX for the past several months in the
aftermath of the Lion Air Flight 610 tragedy.
Despite Sunday’s air crash in Ethiopia, Boeing said that the
737 MAX is "a safe airplane that was designed, built and
supported" by its skilled employees.
Ethiopian Airlines Crash Updates: Ethiopia to
Send ‘Black Boxes’ Abroad for Analysis