Black box recorders recovered on Monday should help piece together the plane’s last moments. Ethiopian Airlines’ Begashaw did not comment on where they would be investigated.
The plane had roared low over the field, spewing white smoke and debris, before swerving sharply and crashing, witnesses at the scene told Reuters.
A team from the Israeli volunteer rescue service ZAKA was hoping to join the crash site on Tuesday and help identify bodies, said Opher Dach, consul of Israel’s embassy in Ethiopia.
The 737 line, which has flown for more than 50 years, is the world’s best selling modern passenger aircraft.
The new MAX 8 variant, with bigger engines designed to use less fuel, entered service in 2017 and were intended to become the workhorses for airlines around the globe for decades.
But the Ethiopia disaster followed another crash involving the same model in Indonesia six months ago. The Lion Air plane crashed into the sea shortly after take-off, killing 189 people.
By Tuesday, civil aviation authorities or airlines had grounded about 40 percent of the world’s fleet of 737 MAX 8s.
According to the authorities, it could take months for analysts to match the body parts recovered from the crash scene to DNA samples family members will provide.
Yesterday, the Ethiopian authorities kept a tight lid on information on the recovery process.
Senior Kenyan officials, including Transport PS Esther Koimett left Ethiopia last night, in the clearest indication yet that there is no-end in sight into investigations into the crash whose reverberations have left permanent scars on hundreds of families.
A visit by the affected families was also scheduled for yesterday, but it did not happen with hopes that it might have been pushed forward to accommodate the families that had not arrived.
Free flights and accommodation are available to family members of those who perished in the crash.
But as the investigations into the crash entered a crucial stage with the arrival of engineers from plane manufacturer, Boeing and US National Transport Safety Board, it was clear that answers may not be forthcoming in at least a month – according to people previously involved in such probes.
And as it would appear, it may have been a lot worse for Kenya, if the Sunday air crash happened any other day of the week.
While this may do nothing to console the tens of families who lost their loved ones – all on connecting flights to Nairobi, typical journeys originating from the Ethiopian capital have many more Kenyans on board.
Addis Ababa is a second home for the huge Kenyan population including diplomatic corps who regularly shuttle to Nairobi and back – for work and family.
As the harsh reality of deaths start sinking in, Ijera village, the site of the crash, will have a huge new meaning. It is likely to be the final resting place for the lost souls. Officially, a decision is yet to be taken on how to handle the remains of the victims. Images from the accident scene show metallic parts of the plane and personal effects were shredded to bits.