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Ethiopian Airlines flight recorders detected

Investigators have located the flight recorders from the Ethiopian jetliner that crashed into the Mediterranean Sea this week, but it could take several days before they are retrieved.

Investigators have located the flight recorders from the Ethiopian Airlines jetliner that crashed into the Mediterranean Sea earlier this week, but it could take several days before they are retrieved.

The flight recorders, which could play a key role in determining what caused the Boeing 737-800 to crash off the Lebanese coast, are 1,300 metres below the surface.

Walid Noshie, a prominent Lebanese diver who is part of the search, told The Associated Press that crews were using sophisticated equipment, including a torpedo, to scan the water and sonar-equipped cables that stretch almost three kilometres.

The Lebanese army said the USS Ramage and a civilian ship from Cyprus were scanning the area.

The Boeing 737-800 had taken off from Beirut airport Monday during thunderstorms and lightning. It went down 3½ kilometres off the Lebanese coast at roughly 2:30 a.m. local time, only minutes after takeoff en route to Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital.

All 90 people aboard, including a Canadian passenger, are feared dead.

Search teams have recovered some bodies and pieces of the plane, but hope for finding any survivors has faded. There are conflicting numbers of how many bodies have been found, although at least a dozen have been pulled out of the Mediterranean Sea.

Earlier this week, Lebanese Transportation Minister Ghazi Aridi told The Associated Press that the control tower had asked the pilot to correct his path "but he did a very fast and strange turn before disappearing completely from the radar."

The Lebanese army and witnesses have said the plane was on fire shortly after takeoff and weather experts said lightning struck in the flight path around the time of the crash.

Officials have ruled out terrorism as a cause of the crash, without elaborating.

With files from The Associated Press