Searchers scouring the rough Mediterranean Sea for remains of Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET-409 have recovered 25 bodies, the airline announced Monday. The Boeing 737-800 aircraft slammed into the water just two miles from shore after taking off from Beirut with 90 passengers and crew. There is no sign of survivors but 25 bodies have been brought to shore.
DNA tests to identify the Lebanese passengers aboard the flight were underway. The health ministry said it had set up a crisis unit in a bid to identify the victims through DNA tests or items of jewelry found on their persons. Ethiopian Airlines said 14 of the bodies had been identified. Six Ethiopians and eight Lebanese citizens.
One rescue official said that some of the bodies recovered were dismembered while another said bodies were floating in the water.
The Lebanese army, navy as well as the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) were assisting in the rescue. In addition, the U.S. Navy sent the guided-missile destroyer USS Ramage to help in the salvage and recovery efforts.
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