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China Eastern Passenger Plane Crash: Searchers Find Second Black Box

China Eastern flight crash site in Tengxian County on March 27, 2022, in southern China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. Huang Xiaobang/AP

The black box, which contains data such as speed, altitude, and heading, was found on Sunday, state media reported.

According to state media on Sunday, searchers have discovered the second black box or flight recorder from the accident of a China Eastern passenger jet last week, which killed all 132 persons on board.

In the worst plane catastrophe in a decade, a Boeing 737-800 flight from Kunming to Guangzhou crashed into a mountainside in Guangxi province on Monday. On Wednesday, the first flight recorder was discovered. It was transported to Beijing for examination, which will take several days.

“The second black box from China Eastern flight MU5735 was recovered on March 27,” Xinhua news agency reported.

As per NPR, the plane had two flight recorders: one in the back passenger compartment that tracked flight data and the other in the cockpit that recorded audio.

Data from the second flight recorder includes speed, altitude, and heading.

Investigators should be able to begin piecing together what caused the plane to plummet more than 6,000 meters (20,000 feet) in less than a minute now that both have been retrieved.

Investigators may need weeks or months to establish what caused the MU5735 flight to crash.

Hundreds of people, including firefighters, doctors, and investigators, are still working to recover human remains and the plane’s wreckage.

On Saturday evening, the Chinese Civil Aviation Administration (CAAC) announced that all of the individuals on board the plane had died and that DNA testing had confirmed almost all of their identities.

All 123 passengers and nine crew members were Chinese nationals.

China Eastern Airlines and its subsidiaries, one of China’s four major airlines, have ground all of their 737-800 aircraft, a total of 223 planes. The airline stated that the grounding was merely a precaution and not an indication of a problem.

China Eastern had previously stated that the plane, which was nearly seven years old, had satisfied all pre-flight airworthiness requirements.

President Xi Jinping issued an unusually rapid public statement in response to the disaster, ordering an investigation into its cause while aviation officials promised a thorough two-week check-up of China’s vast passenger fleet.

The tragedy has hampered the return of Boeing’s 737 MAX to China, the last major market where the US planemaker is still waiting for authorization to restart flying after crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia in 2018 and 2019 killed a total of 346 people.

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