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Roundup: Ethiopian Airlines refutes reports on release of cra

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ADDIS ABABA, March 27 (Xinhua) -- Ethiopian Airlines Group on Wednesday refuted recent reports alleging that preliminary investigation results from the crashed Ethiopian airlines plane will be released within the coming two weeks.

A Boeing Boeing 737 Max 8 plane operated by Ethiopian Airlines crashed shortly after taking off from Addis Ababa, capital of Ethiopia on March 10, killing all 157 people aboard.

"We strongly refute recent reports which state that Ethiopian Airlines CEO expected the preliminary release of a report into the March 10 crash of its Boeing 737 Max 8 maybe this week or next week," an Ethiopian Airlines Group statement issued on Wednesday read.

Some media reports on Wednesday quoted Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO Tewolde Gebremariam as saying that preliminary investigation results from the crashed Ethiopian plane will released "maybe this week or next week."

"The CEO did not say anything about the time the investigation report will be released," Ethiopia's flag carrier said on Wednesday, adding that similar "misleading" reports could affect the ongoing investigation procedures.

"We want to make clear to the world that we have no mandate to comment on the investigation and we can't make such incorrect statement," the statement read.

"We urge all concerned to refrain from making such uninformed, incorrect, irresponsible and misleading statements during the period of the accident investigation," the airlines said.

The airlines also indicated that "international regulations require all stakeholders to wait patiently for the result of the investigation."

On Monday, Gebremariam said that investigation on the crashed plane is "well underway."

Gebremariam added that "many questions on the Boeing 737 Max 8 airplane remain without answers, and I pledge full and transparent cooperation to discover what went wrong."

On March 14, an Ethiopian delegation, led by Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB), had flown the Flight Data Recorder (FDR) and Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) to Paris, France for investigation.

The French air accident authority BEA, which is investigating the crashed plane's black boxes, also last week revealed that it had found "clear similarities" between the doomed jet and Lion Air flight.

"During the verification process of the FDR (Flight Data Recorder) data, clear similarities were noted by the investigation team between Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 and Lion Air Flight 610, which will be the subject of further study during the investigation," the BEA said in a statement last week.

The Ethiopian airlines plane crash was the second such accident in five months which involved the Boeing 737 MAX model.

In October last year, a Lion Air flight of the same model crashed in Indonesia, killing all 189 people on board.

Gebremariam, in a recent interview with Xinhua, had also confirmed that it "will take some days to read, analyze and understand" information from the voice and data recorders.

"There is the voice part on one hand and there is also data part on the other hand," Gebremariam said. "They (investigators) have to connect both, and the analysis may take some days."

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