Amitjha, thanks for getting this story out so quickly. It will now show up on the home page for four hours. If new developments justify it, I'll renew this flag for another cycle.
Ethiopian airliner crashes with 90 people
An Ethopian airliner, boeing 737-800, crashed in Mediterranean sea just after take off from the Beriut. There were 90 people on board including eight crew members.
The Boeing 737-800 disappeared off the radar some five minutes after taking off, shortly after its scheduled departure time of 2:10 a.m. (7:10 p.m. EST), during a thunderstorm and heavy rain, the sources said. It was heading for Addis Ababa.
Eight-two passengers and eight crew were aboard, according to the plane's manifest, the sources said.
About 50 passengers were Lebanese nationals, three with dual nationalities: British, Canadian and Russian. Most of the others were Ethiopians. Hundreds of Ethiopians work as domestic helpers in Lebanon.
According to one source, residents on the coast saw a "ball of fire" crashing off Na'ameh village, a few kilometers south of the Lebanese capital.
Senior Lebanese officials and some family members of Lebanese passengers headed to Rafik Hariri International Airport after news of the crash. The plane had flown in from Addis Ababa earlier in the night, the sources said.