Reuters. – Chinese rescue teams on Wednesday found one of the black boxes of a Boeing 737-800 of China Eastern Airlines that crashed this week in forested mountains with 132 people on board, the national aviation regulator said.
An official with the China Civil Aviation Administration (CAAC) said at a press conference that the device was badly damaged and it was not immediately clear whether it was a flight data recorder or a cockpit voice recorder.
Flight MU5735 was traveling from the southwestern city of Kunming to Guangzhou on the coast on Monday when a Boeing 737-800 suddenly plummeted from its cruising altitude, just in time when it should have begun its landing.
Most of the device appears to have disintegrated on impact and no survivors have been found. The cause of the accident has not yet been determined, and aviation authorities warn that their investigation will be very difficult due to the severe damage to the aircraft.
Said Mao Yanfeng, head of aircraft research department at CAAC.
Mao told reporters that the weather conditions along Monday’s flight path posed no danger to the plane, and air traffic controllers maintained contact with the plane after take-off and before its rapid landing.
The authority said earlier that the plane did not respond while landing to repeated calls from air traffic controllers.
Officials said the plane met airworthiness standards before takeoff, and that the three pilots — one more than normally required on a 737 — were in good health.
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Heavy rains in southern China on Wednesday hampered research efforts and the wet weather is expected to continue for the rest of the week.
Relatives of the passengers, including a retiree, Zhang, from Shenzhen, visited the crash site and his eyes filled with tears when he told Reuters his nephew was on the plane.
“I hope the state can thoroughly investigate this matter and find out whether it is the manufacturer’s fault or whether it is a maintenance issue,” Zhang said.
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