Beirut, Jan. 25 (ANI): An Ethiopian airliner carrying 82 passengers and eight crew members crashed into the Mediterranean sea shortly after taking off from the Beirut International Airport on Monday morning, officials said.
"The flight lost contact with Lebanese air traffic controllers shortly after takeoff," the News York Times quoted Ethiopian Airlines spokeswoman Wogayehu Terefe, as saying.
She added that a rescue crew was headed to the crash site to see if anyone had survived.
According to the company's web site, the crashed plane - Ethiopian Airlines Flight 409 - was a Boeing 737 that had been scheduled to take off at 2:10 a.m but it actually left at 2:35. The 1,730-mile flight to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia's capital, was scheduled to take 4 hours and 40 minutes.
The airline said that out of the 90 people aboard the flight, 51 people were Lebanese nationals and 23 passengers were Ethiopian. Two British nationals were also listed as passengers, and the remaining six passengers were Turkish, French, Russian, Canadian, Syrian and Iraqi nationals. The eight crew members were Ethiopian.
According to reports, shortly after the plane took off from Beirut International Airport early Monday morning, some residents on the coast saw a plane on fire crashing.
Flight safety records indicate that there has not been a crash involving Beirut International Airport since 1987.
The Boeing 737 is one of the most widely used planes in the world, and while it has a fine overall safety record, it has been involved in a few crashes in Europe and Africa in recent years. (ANI)