Three British travelers who were on board the Boeing 737 MAX 8 Ethiopian Airlines aircraft when it crashed in 2019 were “unlawfully killed,” a UK coroner ruled.
On March 10, 2019, the plane carrying Sam Pegram, Oliver Vick, and Joanna Toole from Addis Ababa to Kenya went down just six minutes after takeoff.
The collision occurred as a result of several Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System failures, West Sussex coroner Penelope Schofield told the BBC.
Despite the pilots’ best efforts to level the aircraft, a sensor malfunction caused the flight control software to launch at the incorrect moment, forcing the jet to descend.
The tragedy, which resulted in 157 fatalities, occurred shortly after a Lion Air 737 MAX jet crashed in October 2018, killing all 189 aboard.
After the disaster involving Ethiopian Airlines, the Boeing 737 MAX 8 was out of service for approximately two years.
It took three days, however, before the 737 MAX was grounded in the US.
A US judge determined in May 2023 that the families of those murdered in the Ethiopian Airlines tragedy are eligible to file a claim for compensation.
The judge ruled that relatives will be able to file claims for the agony their loved ones endured prior to impact.
“There is sufficient evidence to support a reasonable inference that these passengers experienced pre-impact fright and terror, and that experience is part of the ‘process or manner of death,’” US District Judge Jorge L. Alonso wrote in his ruling.