He said the recorders were found under parts of the plane's fuselage and tail.

Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET409, a Boeing 737 aircraft, crashed on January 25, just minutes after taking offfrom Beirut airport in the middle of a thunderstorm.

All 90 passengers and crew aboard the flight - mostly of Lebanese and Ethiopian descent - are believed to have died in the crash, although not all bodieshave been accounted for.

A Lebanese army officer announced more than a week ago that the flight recorders' signal had been detectedat a depth of about 1,300m and about 10km from Beirut's seaside airport. Search teams, however, have not yet been able to collect the boxes.

Aridi said that retrieving the flight data recorders would be crucial to determining the cause of the crash.

Lebanese officials have said the captain was instructed by the control tower to change to a certain heading, but that the aircraft then took a different course.

Preliminary investigations indicated that the plane broke apart in mid-air before crashing into the sea.