Flight data from last week’s deadly Ethiopian Airlines crash showed “clear similarities” with another fatal crash that involved Boeing’s 737 Max 8 aircraft, Ethiopia’s transport minister said Sunday.
Dagmawit Moges told journalists flight recorder data showed links between the crashes of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 on March 10 and Lion Air Flight 610 in October, according to the Associated Press.
Moges didn’t offer up specific details to support her claim, but she did say the government would release a detailed report within a month or so.
Officials with the National Transportation Safety Board said they’re working with the full cooperation of Ethiopian authorities to transcribe and analyze information retrieved from the flight data recorder, but that data hadn’t been verified as of Sunday afternoon, sources with knowledge of the investigation said told ABC News.
The March 10 crash killed 157 people from more than two dozen countries when the Nairobi-bound Ethiopian Airlines flight plummeted shortly after takeoff.
The accident prompted the U.S. and other major countries to ground all Boeing 737 Max 8 jets until its safety could be confirmed.
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration issued an emergency order to ground the jets on Wednesday, citing satellite-based tracking data that linked the Ethiopia jet’s movements to those of Lion Air Flight 610, which killed 189 people when in crashed off Indonesia in October.
Boeing issued a statement shortly after the transportation minister’s press conference on Sunday, but it did not address her claims directly.
“While investigators continue to work to establish definitive conclusions, Boeing is finalizing its development of a previously announced software update and pilot training revision that will address the MCAS flight control law’s behavior in response to erroneous sensor inputs,” the statement said. “We also continue to provide technical assistance at the request of and under the direction of the National Transportation Safety Board, the U.S. Accredited Representative working with Ethiopian investigators.”
“In accordance with international protocol,” the statement continued, “all inquiries about the ongoing accident investigation must be directed to the investigating authorities.”