March 15, 2019 / 6:30 PM / 11 days ago

Ethiopian Airlines CEO sees 'clear similarities' between crashed 737 MAX jets: Xinhua

Ethiopian Airlines CEO Tewolde Gebremariam is seen at the flight ET 302 crash site near the town of Bishoftu, Ethiopia March 10, 2019 in this picture obtained from social media. Ethiopian Airlines via REUTERS

(Reuters) - The crashed Boeing Co 737 MAX jets in Ethiopia and Indonesia appear to have a common connection, Ethiopian Airlines Group Chief Executive Officer Tewolde Gebremariam told China’s state news agency Xinhua on Friday.

Investigators have found a piece of a stabilizer in the wreckage of an Ethiopian jet with the trim set in an unusual position similar to that of a Lion Air plane that crashed last year, sources have told Reuters.

“It looks like the Lion Air, because the flight only lasted for six minutes,” Gebremariam was quoted as saying by Xinhua.

“It was a very, very short period of time,” Gebremariam said, adding that “there is clear similarity between our crash and the Lion Air crash.”

All 157 people on board the Ethiopian Airlines flight were killed in the crash on Sunday. The Lion Air plane came down off Indonesia in October with 189 people on board.

Parallels between the twin disasters have frightened travelers worldwide and wiped billions of dollars off Boeing stock.

Investigators in France on Friday are examining the black boxes of the 737 MAX that crashed in Ethiopia as the global airline industry awaits the cause of the disaster.

Reporting by Ankit Ajmera in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel

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