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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 April 2019

Black box data from downed Ethiopia Airlines plane shows 'clear similarities' with Lion Air crash

Both Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft crashed within minutes of taking off after the pilots reported flight control problems

Pilots and crew members of the Ethiopian Airlines attend a burial service for the victims of a plane crash at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. EPA
Pilots and crew members of the Ethiopian Airlines attend a burial service for the victims of a plane crash at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. EPA

Early data from the black box of the Ethiopian Airlines plane that crashed killing all 157 people on board shows “clear similarities” with a Lion Air crash in October, the Ethiopian Transport Ministry said on Sunday.

Both Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft crashed within minutes of taking off after the pilots reported flight control problems.

Last week’s Ethiopian crash sparked the concern of aviation authorities that there may be a design fault with the craft, wiping billions of dollars off Boeing’s market value and grounding the planes in countries around the world.

"It was the same case with the Indonesian one," ministry spokesman Muse Yiheyis told Reuters. "There were clear similarities between the two crashes so far.

"The data was successfully recovered. Both the American team and our team validated it. We will let you know more after three or four days."

A preliminary report on the crash is to be released within 30 days, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Ethiopian Airlines offered the families of the 157 victims of last Sunday's crash bags of scorched earth to bury in place of loved ones whose remains could take months to identify.

“The soil came as it became impossible to identify bodies and hand over remains to family members,” a relative of one of the victims told the Associated Press.

“We will not rest until we are given the real body or body parts of our loved ones.”

DNA work has been started to identify the remains but families have been told identification could take up to six months because the body parts are in small pieces.

Authorities say they will issue death certificates within two weeks to the families of all victims, who were from 35 different countries.

On Sunday, an aircraft hangar was filled with white roses as aviation staff gathered to pay their respects to the two pilots and six crew members who died in the incident.

ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA - MARCH 17: A woman lies on the coffin of her loved one during a memorial service for the Ethiopian passengers and crew who perished in the Ethiopian Airways ET302 crash at Selassie Church on March 17, 2019 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. All 157 passengers and crew perished after the Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8 Flight came down six minutes after taking off from Bole Airport. (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images)
A woman lies on the coffin of her loved one during a memorial service for the Ethiopian passengers and crew who perished in the Ethiopian Airways ET302 crash at Selassie Church on March 17, 2019 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Getty Images

Updated: March 18, 2019 08:43 AM

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