Page last updated at 12:26 GMT, Monday, 25 January 2010

Two Britons on crashed Ethiopian Airlines plane

Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737-800
The plane was flying from Beirut to the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa

Two Britons were on board an Ethiopian Airlines plane which crashed shortly after take-off from the Lebanese capital Beirut, it has been confirmed.

The Boeing 737 bound for Addis Ababa in Ethiopia fell into the Mediterranean in a ball of fire with 90 people on board.

The Foreign Office said one British national and one with dual nationality were on board Flight ET409.

No further details about the two people would be released until next of kin had been informed, it added.

A Foreign Office spokeswoman said: "Our thoughts are with the families of all those involved in this tragedy."

At least 21 bodies have been recovered, and there has been no news of anyone surviving the crash.

An RAF helicopter, based in Cyprus, has joined the Lebanese authorities' search-and-rescue operation.

Passenger list

Ethiopian Airlines chief executive Ato Girma Wake said a team of eight people from Derbyshire-based crisis management company Blake Emergency Services, which specialises in airline incidents, was travelling to Beirut.

The airline said there had been 82 passengers and 8 crew on board the flight.

The passenger list included two Britons, 51 Lebanese, 23 Ethiopians, and one person each from Canada, France, Russia, Turkey, Syria and Iraq.


The cause of the crash is being investigated, but police have ruled out terrorism.

Lebanon's transport minister Ghazi Aridi said the plane took off at about 0230 local time (0030 GMT), before crashing two miles off the coast.

An Ethiopian Airlines statement said: "A team is already working on gathering all pertinent information.

"An investigative team has already been dispatched to the scene and we will release further information as further updates are received."

The Foreign Office said British nationals requiring consular assistance should contact its office on 00961 (0) 3 345520.

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SINA Ethiopian plane from Lebanon crashes, 90 on board - 1 hr ago
The Independent 'No survivors found' as jet crashes off Beirut - 9 hrs ago Two Britons killed as plane crashes - PA - 11 hrs ago
CNN Airliner crashes off Lebanon - 12 hrs ago
The Sun Brit in Beirut air disaster named - 17 hrs ago

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