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Diaz-Balart: Better 'Safe Than Sorry' In Calls to Ground Boeing Jets

Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes are parked near Boeing Co.'s 737 assembly facility in Renton, Wash.
Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes are parked near Boeing Co.'s 737 assembly facility in Renton, Wash.

Florida Republican Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart is among the latest to support grounding Boeing 737-800 MAX planes until crash investigators determine the cause of a deadly crash Sunday in Ethiopia.

The Boeing 737-800 MAX planes are Boeing's newest commercial passenger jets. They have been involved in two deadly overseas crashes in less than five months.

"I’m not an expert as to what caused these accidents but if you don’t know and you have a brand new airplane that has had two accidents I think its better to be safe than sorry,” he told WLRN from his Capitol Hill office Tuesday afternoon. "Something went wrong. Something went catastrophically wrong.”

American Airlines flies 24 of the 737-800 MAX planes, including routes in and out of Miami International Airport, which lays within Diaz-Balart's Congressional district.

At least four members of the Senate have asked for the planes to be grounded until investigators can determine the cause of Sunday’s crash. Boeing says it has full confidence in the safety of the planes.

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In a journalism career covering news from high global finance to neighborhood infrastructure, Tom Hudson is the Vice President of News and Special Correspondent for WLRN. He hosts and produces the Sunshine Economy and anchors the Florida Roundup in addition to leading the organization's news engagement strategy.