Grieving Families Given Earth From Ethiopian Crash Site - NBC Chicago
National & International News
The day’s top national and international news

Grieving Families Given Earth From Ethiopian Crash Site

Forensic DNA work has begun on identifying the remains but it may take six months to identify the victims

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Boeing Promises Software Fix for Grounded 737 Max Planes

    Boeing has promised an urgent fix to flight control software in its grounded 737 Max planes, days after the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines 737 Max killed all 157 people on board. American pilots made at least five complaints last fall about autopilot issues causing the planes to make a sudden nosedive during takeoff. (Published Thursday, March 14, 2019)

    Grieving family members of victims of the Ethiopian air disaster are being given sacks of earth to bury in place of the remains of their loved ones.

    Officials have begun delivering bags of earth to family members of the 157 victims of the crash instead of the remains of their loved ones because the identification process is going to take such a long time.

    Families are being given a 1-kilogram (2.2-pound) sack of scorched earth taken from the crash sites, members of two different families told The Associated Press. They spoke on condition of anonymity to avoid any possible government reprisal. An Ethiopian government official who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to reporters also confirmed the deliveries of soil.

    "The soil came as it became impossible to identify bodies and hand over remains to family members," one family member said. "We will not rest until we are given the real body or body parts of our loved ones."

    Trump Orders Boeing 737 Max Aircraft Grounded

    [NATL] Trump Orders Boeing 737 Max Aircraft Grounded

    President Trump announced Wednesday all Boeing 737 Max aircraft would be grounded "effective immediately" in the wake of a crash in Ethiopia where 157 people were killed. A software issue may cause the plane to dive suddenly if the aircraft appears to stall out. Many pilots have stated that they were unaware of the potential issue.

    (Published Wednesday, March 13, 2019)

    Forensic DNA work has begun on identifying the remains but it may take six months to identify the victims, because the body parts are in small pieces. However, authorities say they will issue death certificates within two weeks. The victims of the crash came from 35 countries.

    A mass memorial service for the dead is planned in Addis Ababa to take place Sunday, one week after the crash. Muslim families have already held prayers for the dead and are anxious to have something to bury as soon as possible.

    Interpol and Blake Emergency Services, hired by Ethiopian Airlines, will work with Ethiopian police and health officials to identify the bodies, Dagmawit Moges, Ethiopia's Minister of Transport said on Saturday.

    "Preparation for the identification process has already started and we will make sure that the post mortem investigation will start as soon as possible," she said.

    The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board has sent about 16 members to assist the investigation, she said.

    In Paris, investigators started studying the cockpit voice recorder of the crashed Ethiopian Airlines jet Saturday, grieving family members were given sacks of dirt to bury in place of the remains of their loved ones.

    Astronauts Make History With NASA's First All-Female Spacewalk

    [NATL] Astronauts Make History With NASA's First All-Female Spacewalk

    American astronauts Jessica Meir and Christina Koch made history Friday with NASA's first all-female spacewalk. The astronauts walked outside the International Space Station to replace a faulty battery.

    (Published Friday, Oct. 18, 2019)

    The French air accident investigation agency BEA tweeted Saturday that technical work on the recorder began. The BEA also said work resumed on the flight's data recorders.

    The recorders, also known as black boxes, were sent to France because the BEA has extensive expertise in analyzing such devices. Experts from the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board and the plane's manufacturer Boeing are among those involved in the investigation.

    The Ethiopian disaster and a crash last year in Indonesia were both of the Boeing 737 Max 8 planes. The United States and many other countries have grounded the Max 8s as the U.S.-based company faces the challenge of proving the jets are safe to fly amid suspicions that faulty sensors and software contributed to the two crashes that killed 346 people in less than six months.

    The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration said regulators had new data from satellite-based tracking that showed the movements of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 were similar to those of Lion Air Flight 610, which crashed off Indonesia in October, killing 189 people.

    Both planes flew with erratic altitude changes that could indicate the pilots struggled to control the aircraft. Shortly after their takeoffs, both crews tried to return to the airports but crashed.

    Boeing said it supports the grounding of its planes as a precautionary step, while reiterating "full confidence" in their safety. Engineers are making changes to the system designed to prevent an aerodynamic stall if sensors detect that the jet's nose is pointed too high and its speed is too slow.

    South Philly Explosions Seen from Inside the Facility

    [NATL-PHI] Philadelphia Refinery Explosions Seen From Facility Cameras

    Cameras inside the Philadelphia Energy Solutions refinery caught on video the massive blasts early June 21 from just yards away. Here is what explosions of hundreds of thousands of pounds of explosive chemicals looks like up close. The video is from Philadelphia Energy Solutions, via the U.S. Chemical Safety Board.

    (Published Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019)

    Investigators looking into the Indonesian crash are examining whether the software automatically pushed the plane's nose down repeatedly, and whether the Lion Air pilots knew how to solve that problem. Ethiopian Airlines says its pilots received special training on the software.

    Associated Press writers Dave Koenig and Tom Krisher contributed.