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Saturday, January 18, 2020

Families of crash victims storm out of meeting with Ethiopia airline

About 200 family members of people who died on the crashed jet have stormed out of a briefing with Ethiopian Airlines officials, complaining that the airline has not given them adequate information.

The airline officials said they have opened a call-in center that is open 18 hours a day to respond to questions by family members. But angry family members left the meeting at a hotel in Addis Ababa, saying that they are frustrated by a lack of answers to their questions.

Relatives have been wailing and beating their chests at the site of the Ethiopian Airlines crash as others picked through the rubble for any sign of the 157 people who died.

Some family members have expressed frustration with the pace of the investigation and release of information.

While a bulldozer navigates the dusty scene with piles of debris, investigators, searchers and others wander the ground, some with large clear plastic bags. Blue plastic sheeting covers the wreckage of the plane.

People from 35 countries died in Sunday’s crash. More families are expected to arrive on Thursday.

France says it will analyze the data from the plane’s black box.

The French air accident investigation authority, known by its French acronym BEA, says it will handle the analysis of the black boxes retrieved from the crash site of the Ethiopian Airlines jet that left 157 people dead.

A BEA official told The Associated Press that they have already arrived in France but gave no time frame on how long the analysis could take.

The BEA has experience with global air crashes, and its expertise is often sought whenever an Airbus plane crashes because the manufacturer is based in France.

Ethiopian Airlines says an Ethiopian delegation led by its accident investigation bureau had flown the flight data and cockpit voice recorders to Paris.

More than 40 countries, including the U.S., which had been one of the last holdouts, have grounded the 737 Max 8 after the second fatal crash involving the jet in recent months.

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