U.S. and Ethiopian Investigators Clash Over Crash Probe

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Sources say Ethiopian officials have been slow to share information with the U.S. during the investigation.

By Claire Hansen, Staff WriterApril 1, 2019,

U.S. AND ETHIOPIAN officials are clashing over how to handle the investigation into the crash of a Boeing 737 MAX 8 airline that crashed after takeoff from Addis Ababa on March 10, killing all 157 people on board.

Airline
An Ethiopean Airlines flight crashed in March, killing 157 people.THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

U.S. investigators have complained that Ethiopian officials have been slow to share information retrieved from the black box recorders on the Ethiopian Airlines flight and that they’ve been reluctant to pass on other relevant information, according to The Wall Street Journal, which cites people close to the investigation.

Other sources told the Journal that Ethiopian investigators are annoyed at what they see as U.S. authorities’ attempts to control the initial crash report, which is expected to be released in the next week. People from both countries say the tension has affected the investigation, though officials from the two nations have been able to continue working together.

Ethiopian officials have pushed back against what they consider an effort from Boeing investigators to influence and speedup the release of the preliminary report, according to the Journal. Boeing has denied that it ever attempted to do so.

The report is expected to say that the data suggests the Ethiopian Airlines crash was similar to that of a Lion Air 737 MAX, which plunged into the Java Sea after takeoff in October, killing all 189 passengers and crew. In both crashes, an automated stall-prevention system was activated, sources told the Journal. Boeing is in the process of releasing a software update aimed at fixing the issue.