By Staff Reporter
July 22, 2020 (Ezega.com) -- Ethiopian Airlines cargo plane caught fire on Wednesday at Shanghai Pudong Airport in China as citizens were celebrating the completion of the first phase of filling the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.
According to a statement issued by the airlines, the aircraft was on a regularly scheduled cargo service from Shanghai to Sao Paulo-Santiago.
All ground staff and flying crew are safe. Ethiopian has collaborated with all concerned authorities and contained the fire, the statement added.
The cause of the incident is under investigation by the appropriate authorities, it noted.
Pictures and videos circulating on Chinese social media showed heavy smoke pouring from an Ethiopian aircraft, and a large section of the upper fuselage appeared scorched.
After the fire broke, flights bound for Shanghai Pudong International Airport were diverted to Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport, said aviation data provider Variflight.
Social Media sources from China have reported that the airport fire department arrived on the scene and managed to put out the fire.
Ethiopian Airlines has relied on the cargo service as a survival strategy as the coronavirus infections hit the aviation industry worst worldwide.
The flag carrier has grounded over 90 percent of its aircraft due to the COVID-19 outbreak worldwide.
The airliner converted dozens of its passenger’s planes into freighters and the result was that the airline managed to pay for its expenses without a subsidy from the government.
Meanwhile, the Harari Region Police Commission said more than 180 suspects were arrested for the alleged killing of civilians, armed robbery, and other offenses committed during the recent violence in the region.
Harari Police Commissioner Remedan Umer told DW Amharic service that the suspects include those individuals who demolished the monument of the late Emperor Haile Selassie, blocked roads and attacked and killed innocent civilians.
”The arrest of the suspects was a product of the crime investigation deployed by the Harari police and Information Network Security Service (INSA) to enhance security and maintain law and order.
The commissioner said necessary evidence is being gathered and identified against the suspects who appeared before the court.
Harar is believed to be a stronghold of activist Jawar Mohammed who was detained for alleged instigation of the latest violence across Oromia towns of Ethiopia,
Similarly, the Dire Dawa town police commission announced the arrest of 272 individuals on suspicion of instigating violence and killing of innocent people.
Dire Dawa police commission said that additional arrests are pending for several suspects in connection with committing crimes during violence that followed the killing of the Oromo singer Hacahlu Hundessa.
According to the Federal Police report, Jawar Mohammed and Bekele Gerba, another leader of the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC) are accused of triggering the latest ethnic and religious-based attacks.
More than 200 people were killed, over one thousand residential houses, businesses, and government offices were burned or damaged during the three-day violence that occurred in Oromia towns.
Deputy Police Commissioner of Oromia region Girma Gelan was quoted as saying that some of the victims of what radical ethnic Oromo activists call "Oromo revolution" were beheaded.
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