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US joins Ethiopian-led investigation at Boeing crash site

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    Rescuers work at the scene of an Ethiopian Airlines flight crash near Bishoftu, or Debre Zeit, south of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Monday, March 11, 2019. A spokesman says Ethiopian Airlines has grounded all its Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft as a safety precaution, following the crash of one of its planes in which 157 people were killed. (AP Photo/Mulugeta Ayene)

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    Workers gather at the scene of an Ethiopian Airlines flight crash near Bishoftu, or Debre Zeit, south of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Monday, March 11, 2019. A spokesman says Ethiopian Airlines has grounded all its Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft as a safety precaution, following the crash of one of its planes in which 157 people were killed. (AP Photo/Mulugeta Ayene)

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    Rescuers work at the scene of an Ethiopian Airlines flight crash near Bishoftu, or Debre Zeit, south of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Monday, March 11, 2019. A spokesman says Ethiopian Airlines has grounded all its Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft as a safety precaution, following the crash of one of its planes in which 157 people were killed. (AP Photo/Mulugeta Ayene)

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    Wreckage is piled at the crash scene of an Ethiopian Airlines flight crash near Bishoftu, or Debre Zeit, south of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Monday, March 11, 2019. A spokesman says Ethiopian Airlines has grounded all its Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft as a safety precaution, following the crash of one of its planes in which 157 people are known to have died. (AP Photo/Mulugeta Ayene)

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    Framed photographs of seven crew members are displayed at a memorial service held by an association of Ethiopian airline pilots, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Monday, March 11, 2019. Authorities in Ethiopia, China and Indonesia grounded all Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft Monday following the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines jetliner that killed 157 people, and investigators found the flight recorders from the field where the plane went down. (AP Photo/Samuel Habtab)

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    Parts of the plane wreckage with rescue workers at the crash site at Bishoftu, or Debre Zeit, outside Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Monday, March 11, 2019, where Ethiopia Airlines Flight 302 crashed Sunday. Investigators are trying to determine the cause of a deadly crash Sunday involving a new aircraft model touted for its environmentally friendly engine that is used by many airlines worldwide. (AP Photo/Mulugeta Ayene)

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    Rescue workers at Bishoftu, or Debre Zeit, outside Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Monday, March 11, 2019, where Ethiopia Airlines Flight 302 crashed Sunday. Investigators are trying to determine the cause of a deadly crash Sunday involving a new aircraft model touted for its environmentally friendly engine that is used by many airlines worldwide. (AP Photo/Mulugeta Ayene)

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    A passenger passport lies on the ground at the scene of an Ethiopian Airlines flight crash near Bishoftu, or Debre Zeit, south of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Monday, March 11, 2019. A spokesman says Ethiopian Airlines has grounded all its Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft as a safety precaution, following the crash of one of its planes in which 157 people were killed. (AP Photo/Mulugeta Ayene)

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    Documents lie on the ground at Bishoftu, or Debre Zeit, outside Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Monday, March 11, 2019, where Ethiopia Airlines Flight 302 crashed Sunday. Investigators are trying to determine the cause of a deadly crash Sunday involving a new aircraft model touted for its environmentally friendly engine that is used by many airlines worldwide. (AP Photo/Mulugeta Ayene)

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    Rescue workers at Bishoftu, or Debre Zeit, outside Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Monday, March 11, 2019, where Ethiopia Airlines Flight 302 crashed Sunday. Investigators are trying to determine the cause of a deadly crash Sunday involving a new aircraft model touted for its environmentally friendly engine that is used by many airlines worldwide. (AP Photo/Mulugeta Ayene)

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    A pile of debris on the ground at Bishoftu, or Debre Zeit, outside Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Monday, March 11, 2019, where Ethiopia Airlines Flight 302 crashed Sunday. Investigators are trying to determine the cause of a deadly crash Sunday involving a new aircraft model touted for its environmentally friendly engine that is used by many airlines worldwide. (AP Photo/Mulugeta Ayene)

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    FILE- In this Nov. 14, 2018, file photo Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes are parked near Boeing Co.’s 737 assembly facility in Renton, Wash. Investigators were rushing to the scene of a devastating plane crash in Ethiopia on Sunday, March 10, 2019, an accident that could renew safety questions about the newest version of Boeing’s popular 737 airliner. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

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    Airplane parts lie on the ground at the scene of an Ethiopian Airlines flight crash near Bishoftu, or Debre Zeit, south of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Monday, March 11, 2019. A spokesman says Ethiopian Airlines has grounded all its Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft as a safety precaution, following the crash of one of its planes in which 157 people were killed. (AP Photo/Mulugeta Ayene)

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    Rescue workers at Bishoftu, or Debre Zeit, outside Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Monday, March 11, 2019, where Ethiopia Airlines Flight 302 crashed Sunday. Investigators are trying to determine the cause of a deadly crash Sunday involving a new aircraft model touted for its environmentally friendly engine that is used by many airlines worldwide. (AP Photo/Mulugeta Ayene)

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    Documents lie on the ground at Bishoftu, or Debre Zeit, outside Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Monday, March 11, 2019, where Ethiopia Airlines Flight 302 crashed Sunday. Investigators are trying to determine the cause of a deadly crash Sunday involving a new aircraft model touted for its environmentally friendly engine that is used by many airlines worldwide. (AP Photo/Mulugeta Ayene)

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    A passenger passport lies on the ground at the scene of an Ethiopian Airlines flight crash near Bishoftu, or Debre Zeit, south of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Monday, March 11, 2019. A spokesman says Ethiopian Airlines has grounded all its Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft as a safety precaution, following the crash of one of its planes in which 157 people were killed. (AP Photo/Mulugeta Ayene)

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    Rescuers work at the scene of an Ethiopian Airlines flight crash near Bishoftu, or Debre Zeit, south of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Monday, March 11, 2019. A spokesman says Ethiopian Airlines has grounded all its Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft as a safety precaution, following the crash of one of its planes in which 157 people were killed. (AP Photo/Mulugeta Ayene)

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    Rescuers work at the scene of an Ethiopian Airlines flight crash near Bishoftu, or Debre Zeit, south of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Monday, March 11, 2019. A spokesman says Ethiopian Airlines has grounded all its Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft as a safety precaution, following the crash of one of its planes in which 157 people were killed. (AP Photo/Mulugeta Ayene)

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    Rescuers work at the scene of an Ethiopian Airlines flight crash near Bishoftu, or Debre Zeit, south of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Monday, March 11, 2019. A spokesman says Ethiopian Airlines has grounded all its Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft as a safety precaution, following the crash of one of its planes in which 157 people were killed. (AP Photo/Mulugeta Ayene)

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    Rescuers work at the scene of an Ethiopian Airlines flight crash near Bishoftu, or Debre Zeit, south of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Monday, March 11, 2019. A spokesman says Ethiopian Airlines has grounded all its Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft as a safety precaution, following the crash of one of its planes in which 157 people were killed. (AP Photo/Mulugeta Ayene)

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    In this image taken from video, rescuers search through wreckage at the scene of an Ethiopian Airlines flight that crashed shortly after takeoff at Hejere near Bishoftu, or Debre Zeit, some 50 kilometers (31 miles) south of Addis Ababa, in Ethiopia Sunday, March 10, 2019. The Ethiopian Airlines flight crashed shortly after takeoff from Ethiopia’s capital on Sunday morning, killing all 157 on board, authorities said, as grieving families rushed to airports in Addis Ababa and the destination, Nairobi. (AP Photo/Yidnek Kirubel)

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    Members of the Ethiopian community take part in a special prayer for the victims of the Ethiopian Airlines flight ET302 crash, at the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church of Canada Saint Mary Cathedral in Toronto, on Sunday, March 10, 2019. Ethiopian Airlines flight ET302 crashed shortly after takeoff from Ethiopia’s capital on Sunday morning, killing all on board, authorities said, including 18 Canadians. (Christopher Katsarov/The Canadian Press via AP)

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    Rescuers search at the scene of an Ethiopian Airlines flight that crashed shortly after takeoff at the scene at Hejere near Bishoftu, or Debre Zeit, some 50 kilometers (31 miles) south of Addis Ababa, in Ethiopia Sunday, March 10, 2019. The Ethiopian Airlines flight crashed shortly after takeoff from Ethiopia’s capital on Sunday morning, killing all 157 on board, authorities said, as grieving families rushed to airports in Addis Ababa and the destination, Nairobi. (AP Photo/Yidnek Kirubel)

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    This photo taken Monday, Feb. 11, 2019 shows an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737-800 parked at Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. An Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8 jetliner carrying 157 people crashed shortly after takeoff from the Ethiopian capital Sunday, March 10, 2019 killing everyone aboard, authorities said. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)

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    Wreckage lies at the scene of an Ethiopian Airlines flight that crashed shortly after takeoff at Hejere near Bishoftu, or Debre Zeit, some 50 kilometers (31 miles) south of Addis Ababa, in Ethiopia Sunday, March 10, 2019. The Ethiopian Airlines flight crashed shortly after takeoff from Ethiopia’s capital on Sunday morning, killing all 157 on board, authorities said, as grieving families rushed to airports in Addis Ababa and the destination, Nairobi. (AP Photo)

Published March 12. 2019 08:04AM

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) — U.S. aviation experts on Tuesday joined a global investigation into the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines jetliner that killed 157 people, as a growing number of airlines grounded the new Boeing plane involved in the crash.

The Federal Aviation Administration arrived at the crash site outside the capital, Addis Ababa, with representatives from the National Transportation Safety Board. They join an Ethiopian-led investigation.

The FAA said it expects Boeing will soon complete improvements to an automated anti-stall system suspected of contributing to the deadly crash of another new Boeing 737 Max 8 in October, and update training requirements and related flight crew manuals.

Boeing has said it has no reason to pull the popular aircraft from the skies.

The Ethiopian Airlines plane crashed in clear weather six minutes of taking off for Nairobi, and a growing number of countries and airlines have grounded the new Boeing model as a result.

One witness has told The Associated Press that smoke was coming from the plane’s rear before it crashed in a rural field. “The plane rotated two times in the air, and it had some smoke coming from the back then, it hit the ground and exploded,” Tamrat Abera said.

It should take five days to identify the victims’ remains, Ethiopian Airlines spokesman Asrat Begashaw told the AP.

Investigators on Monday found the jetliner’s two flight recorders at the crash site.

An airline official, however, said one recorder was partially damaged and “we will see what we can retrieve from it.” The official spoke on condition of anonymity for lack of authorization to speak to the media.

Safety experts have cautioned against drawing too many comparisons too soon with the Lion Air crash of the same model last year that killed 189 people.

Ethiopian Airlines decided to ground its remaining four 737 Max 8s until further notice as “an extra safety precaution.” The carrier had been using five of the planes and awaiting delivery of 25 more.

More airlines announced they would ground the jets. On Tuesday, an official with South Korean airline Eastar Jet said they were doing so in response to customer concerns.

Airlines in China and Indonesia, Aeromexico, Brazil’s Gol Airlines, India’s Jet Airways and others also temporarily grounded their Max 8s.

Australia suspended all flights into or out of the country by Boeing 737 Max aircraft.

But Boeing said it did not intend to issue any new recommendations about the aircraft to its customers. It was sending a technical team to the crash site to help the investigators.

As a growing global team searched for answers, a woman stood near the crash site Tuesday morning, wailing.

Kebebew Legess said she was the mother of a young Ethiopian Airlines crew member among the dead.

“She would have been 25 years old but God would not allow her,” she wept. “My daughter, my little one.”

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