Witnesses said the plane nose-dived into remote farmland southeast of the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, reducing the plane to small pieces of debris buried deep in the earth. They spoke on condition of anonymity to avoid "possible government reprisal", the article noted.
For bereaved families, answers can't come soon enough. "We will not rest until we are given the real body or body parts of our loved ones".
The person said that under the victim's Jewish faith, no funeral could be held until his remains were returned, and the six-month delay was distressing for his family.
According to TIME, Ethiopian Transport Minister Dagmawit Moges said that it would take as long as six months to identify the victims of the crash, in which 157 passengers from 35 nations perished.
The plane crashed minutes after taking off from an Addis Ababa airport bound for Nairobi.
"Victim identification will be carried out using reliable, scientific and global standards and for this objective, internationally-recognized and accredited organizations such as Interpol and Blake are going to be in the process", said Ethiopian Transport Minister, Dagmawit Moges.
Aviation expert Denny Kelly said the available information makes him wonder whether the pilots tried to turn off two stabilizer switches in the middle of the console.
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The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board has sent about 16 members to assist the investigation, she said.
The two flight recorders aboard the aircraft are being analysed in France. Meanwhile, the investigation into a cause is well underway.
Despite Boeing and US airlines insisting the planes were safe to fly, the FAA grounded the planes Wednesday. The model has been grounded worldwide since the disaster.
The flight data and voice recorders of the Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft were delivered to France on Thursday after Ethiopia asked BEA for assistance in analyzing the jet's black boxes.
Speaking in a "panicky voice", the doomed aircraft's captain requested permission to return to the airport nearly immediately after takeoff as the plane "accelerated to abnormal speed", the newspaper reported Thursday, citing a person who had reviewed the air traffic communications.
Canada's largest carrier had expected to grow its fleet of 24 MAX jets to 36 of the Boeing planes by the end of 2019. Engineers are making changes to the system created to prevent an aerodynamic stall if sensors detect that the jet's nose is pointed too high and its speed is too slow. The erratic flight path appeared similar to a fatal Lion Air crash in October. Ethiopian Airlines says its pilots received special training on the software.