March 27, 2022
BEIJING (Reuters) -Recovery crews on Sunday found the second black box – the flight data recorder – from the wreckage of a China Eastern Airlines Boeing 737-800 jet that crashed into a mountainside in southern China, state media reported.
Flight MU5735, with 132 people onboard, was en route from the southwestern city of Kunming to Guangzhou on the coast on Monday when it plummeted from cruising altitude at about the time when it should have started its landing descent.
There had been little hope of finding any survivors. In a late night news conference on Saturday, officials announced that all of the people onboard, including nine crew members, have been confirmed dead.
The crash was the deadliest air disaster in mainland China since 1994, when a China Northwest Airlines flight from Xian to Guangzhou crashed, killing all 160 people on board.
The cause of the China Eastern crash remains unknown.
The other black box – the cockpit voice recorder – was found on Wednesday, and has been sent to Beijing for examination by experts.
The second black box was dug out of a slope at the crash site about 9:20 a.m. local time (0120 GMT) in muddy conditions after rain in recent days, state media reported.
The device, found 1.5 metres (5 feet) beneath the surface of the slope, will be sent to Beijing for checks on Sunday, according to state media.
China is leading the crash investigation. The United States has also been invited to take part, as the Boeing 737-800 was designed and manufactured there.
The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said it was working with U.S. and Chinese authorities to resolve visa and COVID quarantine issues before participating.
(Reporting by Ryan Woo and Huiling Zhou; Editing by Christopher Cushing and Gerry Doyle)