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Ethiopian Airlines plane believed to have crashed

BEIRUT - An Ethiopian Airlines plane with about 90 people on board crashed into the sea early Monday shortly after takeoff from Beirut, aviation and security officials said.

The Boeing 737-800 took off around 2 a.m. local time for Addis Ababa, according to the officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak publicly.

Police officials ruled out terrorism as the cause of the crash and said it was likely weather-related. There have been heavy rains and lightning in Beirut since last night.

Lebanese naval ships were scrambled to find the location of the crash.

About 50 of the passengers were Lebanese, the officials said.

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