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Israel Sends Emergency Teams to Ethiopia After Deadly Crash Kills 157

03-11-2019
Credit: AP Video Screenshot

The Israeli emergency rescue group ZAKA sent a team to Ethiopia Sunday to locate the remains of the victims of an Ethiopian Airlines plane crash that killed 157 people. 

According to ZAKA, the team had the "personal approval" of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to go to the crash site. 

At least 35 people from different countries were among the 157 killed in the crash, including two Israelis. 

The ZAKA team will "locate and identify the Israeli victims, to collect their remains in keeping with Jewish law and ensure a full Jewish burial."

The plane came down minutes after taking off from Addis Ababa. There was no immediate indication of why the plane suddenly went down while on its way to Nairobi, Kenya. 

Ethiopia's state-affiliated Fana Broadcasting Corporate reports that the black box has been found from the crashed Ethiopian Airlines plane.
  
An airline official told The Associated Press that the box is partially damaged and that "we will see what we can retrieve from it."

"Ethiopian Airlines is one of the safest airlines in the world. At this stage we cannot rule out anything," CEO Tewolde Gebremariam told reporters. He visited the crash site, standing in the gaping crater flecked with debris.

The crash split the plane into multiple pieces and left a crater full of debris and bodies. 

The Red Cross and other workers were on the scene within hours to look for remains. Black body bags scatter the impact site.

Leaders of the United Nations, the U.N. refugee agency and the World Food Program announced that colleagues had been on the plane. 

The U.N. migration agency said about 19 U.N.-affiliated employees were killed. 

Ethiopian Airlines released a list of those killed during the crash. They included passengers from China, the United States, Saudi Arabia, Nepal, Israel, India, and Somalia. Kenya lost 32 citizens. Canada, 18. Several countries including the United States lost four or more people.

The crash was similar to that of a Lion Air jet in Indonesian seas last year, killing 189 people. Both crashes involved the Boeing 737 Max 8. China ordered a temporary grounding of those planes for Chinese airlines Monday.
 
Ethiopian officials declared Monday a day of mourning.

Evangelist Franklin Graham urges Christians to pray for those affected by the tragedy. 

"Please join me in praying for the grieving loved ones in their loss. May God, who is an ever present help in trouble, comfort them as only He can," he wrote on Facebook. 

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