90 Feared Dead In Ethiopian Airlines Plane Crash

Ethiopian Airlines Flight 409 from Beirut to Addis Ababa


Rescuers fear all 90 passengers on the plane which plunged into the sea near the coast of Lebanon may be dead, including the two British citizens on board.

Ethiopian Airlines Flight 409 from Beirut to Addis Ababa had just taken off during a heavy thunderstorm when it was engulfed by a "ball of fire" and crashed into the water.

Sources have identified one of the passengers as Afif Krisht, a 55-year-old dual British-Lebanese national with three children from his first marriage living in Plymouth.

The businessman and father of six spent time in Britain and Lebanon, according to reports, and tribute messages have been left on social networking website Facebook.

More than 30 bodies have been recovered from the water so far, and Lebanese President Michel Suleiman denied terrorist activity, saying: "Sabotage is ruled out as of now."

A Foreign Office spokeswoman said: "We can confirm that one British national and one dual national were on board Ethiopian Air flight number ET 409 departing from Beirut to Ethiopia, that crashed into the sea off the coast of Lebanon early this morning. A British Royal Air Force helicopter, based in Cyprus, has joined the Lebanese authorities' search and rescue operation."

Copyright © Press Association 2010

If you or your family have been affected by this plane crash, contact us for expert advice. Our expert travel lawyers have experience of helping those affected by plane crashes to claim compensation.