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Boeing grounds entire crash aircraft fleet

A ground crew walks near a Boeing 737 Max 8 plane operated by Shanghai Airlines parked on the tarmac at Hongqiao airport in Shanghai, China. (FILE PHOTO)

Boeing has grounded its entire global fleet of 737 Max aircraft after investigators uncovered new evidence at the scene of the fatal Ethiopian Airlines crash.

The US plane-maker said it would suspend all 371 of the aircraft.

The Federal Aviation Administration said fresh evidence as well as newly refined satellite data prompted the decision to temporarily ban the jets.

The FAA had previously held out while many countries banned the aircraft.

The crash on Sunday in Addis Ababa killed 157 people.

It was the second fatal Max 8 disaster in five months after one crashed over Indonesia in October, claiming 189 lives.

Boeing, the US plane manufacturer, said that it “continues to have full confidence in the safety of the 737 Max”.

However, it added that after consultation with the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board it had decided to ground the flights “out of an abundance of caution and in order to reassure the flying public of the aircraft’s safety”.

Dennis Muilenburg, president, chief executive and chairman of Boeing, said: “We are doing everything we can to understand the cause of the accidents in partnership with the investigators, deploy safety enhancements and help ensure this does not happen again.”

On Wednesday, US was the latest country to suspend the Boeing 737 Max from flying after nations include the UK, the European Union, China, India and Australia all grounded the aircraft.

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