An Ethiopian Airlines plane carrying 82 passengers and eight crew members crashed in the sea off Lebanon on 25 January just a few minutes after leaving Beirut for Addis Ababa. So far over 20 bodies have been recovered but there has been no word of survivors. Most of the passengers were Ethiopian or Lebanese, although there were a few people of other nationalities on board.
It is not clear what caused the crash, although a heavy rainstorm at the time of takeoff may have been partly to blame. This is the first major disaster to affect the Ethiopian flag carrier since 1996 when a hijacked plane flying from Nairobi to Addis Ababa crashed into the sea off the Comoros Islands after running out of fuel. Ethiopian has been expanding rapidly in recent years and is widely considered one of the safest airlines in sub-Saharan Africa.
Ethiopian Airlines has set up an emergency call centre for information and enquiries related to the crash on tel. +251 11 517 8766, +251 91 150 1248, +251 91 125 5577, +251 91 120 3412. The airline also has a toll-free number: +251 11 662 0062.