According to As Safir newspaper sources the captain of the Ethiopian airliner received instruction form the control tower of Beirut airport one minute after taking off to change direction in order to avoid the path of a storm. The captain reportedly responded positively but did not do as directed . He reportedly received another call and again he promised to follow the instructions but didn’t .
The airport reported that several airlines took off minutes before and after the Ethiopian airliner and all were ok.
An Ethiopian government official Shimeles Kemal, who is the state minister for communication said the plane caught fire five minutes after takeoff. The official also said that the airline did not receive any threats and does not think there was any foul play involved