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U.S. federal authorities began exploring a criminal investigation of how Boeing Co.’s 737 Max was certified to fly passengers before the latest crash in Ethiopia involving the new jet, according to sources familiar with the probe.

The investigation was prompted by information obtained after a Lion Air 737 Max 8 crashed shortly after takeoff from Jakarta on Oct. 29, said one source, who wasn’t authorized to speak about the investigation and asked not to be named.

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