Second ‘black box’ found in China Eastern plane crash; all on board confirmed dead

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The second “black box” has been recovered from the crash of a China Eastern Boeing 737-800 that killed all 132 people on board last week, Chinese state media said Sunday.

Firefighters taking part in the search found the recorder, an orange cylinder, on a mountain slope about 1.5 meters (5 feet) underground, state broadcaster CCTV said. Experts confirmed that it was the second blackbox. The impact of the crash scattered debris widely and created a 20-meter- (65-foot-) deep pit in the side of the mountain.

Searchers had been looking for the flight data recorder after finding the cockpit voice recorder four days ago. The two recorders should help investigators determine what caused the plane to plummet from 29,000 feet (8,800 meters) and into a forested mountainside in southern China.

Search and rescuer workers conduct continued search operations at the China Eastern flight crash site in Tengxian County on Saturday, March 26, 2022, in southern China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. (Lu Boan/Xinhua via AP)

Search and rescuer workers conduct continued search operations at the China Eastern flight crash site in Tengxian County on Saturday, March 26, 2022, in southern China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. (Lu Boan/Xinhua via AP)
(Lu Boan/Xinhua via AP)

The search for the black boxes and wreckage from the plane has been complicated by the remote setting and rainy and muddy conditions. Video from CGTN, the international arm, of CCTV showed an official holding an orange can-like object. It had the words “RECORDER” and “DO NOT OPEN”. It was slightly dented, but it appeared to be intact.

SEVERELY DAMAGED BLACK BOX FROM DOOMED CHINA EASTERN PLANE RECOVERED

Flight MU5735 crashed Monday en route from the city of Kunming in southeastern China to Guangzhou, a major city and export manufacturing hub near Hong Kong. Officials have confirmed that an air traffic controller attempted to contact the pilots multiple times after seeing the plane’s altitude drop dramatically, but was unsuccessful.

In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, rescuers carry a piece of plane wreckage at the site of Monday's plane crash in Tengxian County, southern China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Friday, March 25, 2022. (Zhou Hua/Xinhua via AP)

In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, rescuers carry a piece of plane wreckage at the site of Monday’s plane crash in Tengxian County, southern China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Friday, March 25, 2022. (Zhou Hua/Xinhua via AP
(Zhou Hua/Xinhua via AP)

The cockpit voice recorder, also an orange cylinder, was found two days later on Wednesday. It was sent to Beijing for analysis and examination.

Hundreds of searchers have been combing the site outside the city of Wuzhou for days with shovels and other hand tools. To remove the earth and clear the passageways, construction excavators were brought in. Pumps are being used to drain the rainwater.

In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, rescuers identify objects collected at the core site of Monday's plane crash in Tengxian County, southern China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Friday, March 25, 2022. (Lu Boan/Xinhua via AP)

In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, rescuers identify objects collected at the core site of Monday’s plane crash in Tengxian County, southern China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Friday, March 25, 2022. (Lu Boan/Xinhua via AP)
(Lu Boan/Xinhua via AP)

Officials announced late Saturday that there were no survivors among the 123 passengers and nine crew members. DNA analysis has confirmed the identities of 120 of the people on board, they said. The victims’ IDs and bank cards were found by searchers.

China Eastern, one of China’s four major airlines, and its subsidiaries have grounded all of their Boeing 737-800s, a total of 223 aircraft. The carrier stated that the grounding was done as a precaution and not to indicate any problems with the planes. The Boeing Co. stated in a statement, that a Boeing technical group is supporting the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, rescuers carry a piece of plane wreckage at the site of Monday's plane crash in Tengxian County, southern China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Friday, March 25, 2022. (Zhou Hua/Xinhua via AP) and the Civil Aviation Administration of China .

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