U.S. President Donald Trump announced Wednesday that his administration had grounded the Boeing 737 Max 8 planes involved in two catastrophic crashes, hours after the United States became the last country to do so, USA Today reports.
Trump issues order to ground Boeing 737 Max 8 after crashes
STEPANAKERT, MARCH 14, ARTSAKHPRESS: "Those planes are grounded effective immediately," Trump told reporters at the White House. "The safety of the American people, of all people, is our paramount concern."
The United States was the last holdout on grounding the aircraft after Canada on Wednesday joined a growing list of nations that included China, Britain, France and Germany to make the call following an Ethiopian Airlines crash on Sunday that killed 157 people.
The Federal Aviation Administration previously stood by the safety of the plane, saying it hadn't found any issues to merit a grounding order. In a statement issued after Trump's remarks, the FAA said the administration was reversing course based on "the data gathering process and new evidence collected at the site."
Trump, who said he felt the move was important "psychologically," said the decision applied to the 737 Max 8 and Max 9 aircraft. Trump also said he was confident Boeing would get to the bottom of the problem.
In a statement, Boeing said it "continues to have full confidence in the safety" of its airplanes, but agreed with the government's decision "out of an abundance of caution and in order to reassure the flying public of the aircraft’s safety."
Sunday's crash in Ethiopia followed an Oct. 29, 2018, crash of Lion Air Flight 610, in which 189 passengers and crew died when it plunged into the Java Sea off Indonesia. Both flights crashed after experiencing drastic speed fluctuations during ascent, with their pilots trying to return to ground after takeoff.