Rescue efforts continued Tuesday to locate the black box of the Ethiopian airliner that crashed into the sea off Lebanon amid accusations that the Ethiopian pilot did not follow orders from the Beirut airport control tower.

 The plane carrying 90 people, most of them Lebanese nationals, fell into the Mediterranean sea shortly after taking off from Beirut early Monday. At least 33 bodies have been recovered so far according to local media counts.

Rescue efforts continued Tuesday to locate the black box of the Ethiopian airliner that crashed into the sea off Lebanon amid accusations that the Ethiopian pilot did not follow orders from the Beirut airport control tower.

 

The plane carrying 90 people, most of them Lebanese nationals, fell into the Mediterranean sea shortly after taking off from Beirut early Monday. At least 33 bodies have been recovered so far according to local media counts.

 Lebanese Minister of Public Works and Transportation Ghazi Ariedi denied Tuesday earlier reports that the fuselage of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 409 has been located.

However, Ariedi said that the authorities have determined the general area where the fuselage should be, adding that teams will be searching the area for 24 hours. He added that search teams are still looking for the black box.

 

While the real cause of the crash is still unknown, Ariedi and Lebanese Defense Minister Elias Murr pointed a finger at the Ethiopian pilot, blaming him for failing to follow instructions from a flight control tower.

A command tower recording shows the tower told the pilot to turn to avoid the storm, but the plane went in the opposite direction,” Murr said in an interview with local LBC TV channel late Monday.

 

We do not know what happened or whether it was beyond the pilot’s control,” he added.

 Ariedi also said the control tower sent the pilot a second warning when he failed to follow the first one. “The pilot, however, continued to fly the same route and then he made a sudden, strange turn before disappearing from the radar,” he stressed.

Many scenarios and assumptions were put forward which included that the plane was struck by lightning, caught fire or encountered engine failure immediately after takeoff.

 

We’d better wait until the black boxes are recovered to determine what really went wrong,” Aridi added.

 

But Yehshi Tamrat, vice consul at the Ethiopian Consulate in Beirut, told local news site NOW Lebanon that nobody can be certain who was at fault for the crash of the plane before the investigation is over.

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