China grounds all Boeing 737 MAX 8 jets following Ethiopia Airlines crash

Last Updated: Mon, Mar 11, 2019 12:44 hrs

China grounded all Boeing 737 MAX 8 jets on Monday, a day after the Ethiopian Airlines crash which killed all 157 people on board.

In fact, Sunday's unfortunate crash is the second time in less than six months that a Boeing 737 MAX 8 was involved in a crash.

The specific Boeing jet was also involved in the Lion Air crash in October last year, which claimed the lives of all 189 people on board after it nosedived into the Java Sea near Jakarta, Indonesia. Notably, both incidents took place just a few minutes after taking off.

"Given in both air crashes, the aircraft were newly delivered Boeing 737 MAX 8, and both accidents occur during the take-off, they share certain similarities," the Chinese government noted on Monday, according to CNN.

All domestic Boeing 737 MAX 8 jets would be out of action until 6 pm (local time), the authorities also mentioned, adding that that decision was taken due to its principle of "zero tolerance for safety hazards".

Both Boeing and the US Federal Aviation Administration will be contacted to confirm "flight safety" issues before the planes are allowed to fly again, China outlined.

On Sunday, flight number ET 302 of the Ethiopian Airlines, with 149 passengers and eight crew members on board, crashed in Bishoftu just a few minutes after taking off from the Bole International Airport in Adis Ababa. There have been no survivors. Four Indians are amongst those who died in the unfortunate incident. 

Passengers belonging to 35 different nationalities lost their lives in the incident. In fact, many of the deceased worked for the United Nations.

Ethiopian Airlines authorities have outlined that the pilot had reported technical difficulties after takeoff and asked for clearance to return to Addis Ababa. The CEO, Tewolde Gebremariam, added that the pilot had flown more than 8,000 hours and had an "excellent flying record."

The exact cause behind the crash is being investigated. Furthermore, it is not known if the black box from the crashed flight has been retrieved by the investigators.