The airliner launched in 2012 took off from Addis Ababa with 150 passengers and crew and was headed to the United States before a bomb scare was reported about 30 minutes before takeoff, airline spokesman Yared Hailegiorgis said. He said the second device was found in the aircraft, but has not given further details. [ALERT: American Airlines said one of its planes was inspected but no explosives were found.] [VIDEO: Another Boeing 737 bomb scare just over a week after Indonesia reports another onboard explosive device] It was not immediately clear who was behind the attacks and who carried them out. Ethiopian Airlines spokesman Tewolde Gebremariam said passengers were cleared by security officers for the flight to the United States. [Video: Outraged pilots describe Ethiopia’s threats to back out of lease deal for 737 MAX jets]
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News reached AOA the next day that the jetliner had been released by the Ethiopia government, but no other details were immediately available.
Further evidence emerged Monday that Ethiopian Airlines was sending freight, including weapons, to Eritrea. Last October it unloaded timber at the city of Dumeira in Eritrea which Ethiopian Airlines confirmed by email.
“The loss of a Boeing 737-8 Max aircraft en route to the United States highlights once again the inherent dangers in the widely-used Boeing model,” Boeing said in a statement. It said it is “cooperating with the relevant authorities to understand all aspects of this incident.”