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US grounds all Boeing 737 MAX flights in response to Ethiopian Airlines crash

A St. Cloud resident was among the 157 killed in the Ethiopian Airlines crash.

In wake of the Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crash that killed 157 people on Sunday, all Boeing 737 MAX 8 and 9 aircraft have been grounded in the United States. 

The MAX 8 was the plane that went down Sunday morning, and President Donald Trump announced Wednesday afternoon that the FAA has issued an emergency order prohibiting use of the aircraft in the U.S.

The New York Times reported earlier this week that American Airlines and Southwest Airlines are the only carriers in the U.S. that employ the 737 MAX 8.  

American Airlines informed Bring Me The News on Tuesday that the 737 MAX 8 is not used on flights to or from Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. Southwest Airlines does use the plane in and out of MSP. 

"We operate 34 MAX 8 aircraft in our fleet of more than 750 Boeing 737s," a Southwest Airlines spokesperson told Bring Me The News on Tuesday. "To date, we have operated more than 41,000 flights and have corresponding aircraft data that indicates the effectiveness of our operating standards, procedures, and training."

MSP Airport says no Southwest flights Wednesday or Thursday are impacted by the 737s being grounded, so operations are expected to flow smoothly. 

St. Cloud resident killed in Ethiopian Airlines crash

Among the 157 killed Sunday's flight out of Ethiopa's capital city of Addis Ababa was a 31-year-old St. Cloud resident, Mucaad Hussein Abdalla

According to the St. Cloud Times, Abdalla moved to St. Cloud in 2006 and graduated from Apollo High School in 2008.

He had just spent some time in Morocco, the newspaper noted, and was planning to stay in Kenya for a short time before returning home to Minnesota.

The Boeing jet was carrying 149 passengers and eight crew members. None survived, including eight passengers from the United States.

Second crash involving 737 MAX

The crash was the second in a matter of months involving the MAX 8 aircraft. The first happened under similar circumstances in October in Indonesia, killing all 189 people on board.

According to the New York Times, approximately 20 airlines around the world grounded the 737 MAX 8, with more than 140 of the 350 or so new jets being halted from service.

Boeing issued a statement saying it has full confidence in the safety of the 737 MAX but supports the decision to ground the model. 

“We are supporting this proactive step out of an abundance of caution. Safety is a core value at Boeing for as long as we have been building airplanes; and it always will be. There is no greater priority for our company and our industry. We are doing everything we can to understand the cause of the accidents in partnership with the investigators, deploy safety enhancements and help ensure this does not happen again.”

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