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Ethiopian Plane Crashes After Takeoff From Beirut: 83 Passengers On Board

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BEIRUT — A Lebanese aviation official says an Ethiopian Airlines plane that disappeared from radar shortly after takeoff from Beirut has probably crashed into the sea.

The plane was carrying 83 passengers and nine crew. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the media.

The plane was headed to Ethiopia. About 50 of the passengers were Lebanese, the official said.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

BEIRUT (AP) – A Lebanese aviation official says an Ethiopian Airlines plane with 85 people on board has disappeared off the radar shortly after takeoff from Beirut.

The official said contact was lost about 45 minutes after the early Monday departure.

He asked that his name not be used because he is not authorized to speak to the media.