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Bags of earth given to families of airline tragedy victims

CRASH SITE: Charred earth from location of the Ethiopian Airlines disaster has been given to bereaved relatives

THE FAMILIES of victims of the fatal Ethiopian Airlines crash have been given bags of earth to bury as the remains of their loved ones have not been recovered.

All 157 people on board the flight from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to Nairobi, Kenya, died when it plummeted to the ground just six minutes after takeoff on Sunday, March 10.

Officials have not formally identified any of the bodies yet and say that it could take months before they do so.

In the absence of remains, charred earth from the crash site has been given to grieving relatives. Some families have buried coffins without bodies.

Temporary death certificates have been issued to bereaved relatives and authorities have started the collection of DNA samples for the identification process.

Dagmawit Moges, Ethiopia’s transport minister, said: “The investigation of such magnitude requires a careful analysis and considerable time to come up with something concrete.”

She added: “We are waiting for the results. We are making all the necessary efforts to identify the cause of the accident.”

Airlines and aviation agencies around the world have grounded Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft while investigations into the cause of the crash, the second involving the model in less than five months, continues.

Moges has said that data from the flight suggests “clear similarities” between the Ethiopian Airlines crash and a Lion Air crash in Indonesia last October. The 737 Max was aircraft was used in both incidents.

Boeing, which has said it maintains its confidence in the safety of 737 Max model but supports action to temporarily ground the aircraft, is continuing to provide technical assistance at the request of and under the direction of the those investigating what caused the crash.

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