Relatives of Ethiopia 737 Max Crash Victims Demand U.S. Records

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Family members of the 157 people who died in the crash of a Boeing Co. 737 Max in Ethiopia are demanding more records from U.S. safety agencies, according to a pair of letters sent on the second anniversary of another accident involving the plane.

A letter to the National Transportation Safety Board, which assisted in the investigation of both crashes, accused the agency of an “unreasonable pro-secrecy stance.”

A second letter to the Department of Transportation and the Federal Aviation Administration also demanded more documentation, saying “public trust in the FAA needs to be repaired with more than just assurances.”

The letters, which were signed by dozens of relatives and acquaintances of the dead, are part of a lawsuit filed on behalf of the victims of the Ethiopian Airlines crash on March 10, 2019.

The NTSB is bound by an international treaty governing accident investigations not to release the information, the safety board said in a statement on Thursday night. Because the NTSB is aiding Ethiopia, that country must authorize the release, not the U.S. investigative agency, it said in the statement. Ethiopia hasn’t completed its final report.

The FAA traditionally doesn’t provide information it considers proprietary. The agency said in a statement on Thursday night that it planned to respond directly to the families.

A total of 346 people died in the two crashes, a Lion Air jetliner that went down in the Java Sea off the coast of Indonesia on Sept. 29, 2018, and the Ethiopian Airlines plane that plummeted shortly after takeoff from Addis Ababa on March 10, 2019.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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