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Second Black Box From China Airlines Flight Recovered From Sea Floor - 2002-06-18

Searchers have recovered the second black box from a China Airlines jumbo jet that crashed last month. Flight 611 broke up in midair 20 minutes after taking off from Taipei en route to Hong Kong. Recovery workers have said the black boxes could yield clues to the crash in a week.

The flight data recorder was found on the sea floor Wednesday. It was sitting about 300 meters from where the cockpit data recorder was recovered on Tuesday.

While the two black boxes appear to be intact, Tracy Jen, the coordinator of the recovery operation, said it not known if the contents are complete.

"Depending on the status and quality of the recorder we are assuming that, optimistic we'll have a complete readout within one week. After we arrive in Taipei starting from tomorrow we will start working," Ms. Jen said.

The two recorders are being taken to Taipei, where aviation experts from the United States will analyze them.

The data recorders from the 23-year-old 747-200 may not have gathered as much information as those in newer jets, but they could still reveal clues as to what caused crash. The jet broke up at 9,000 meters above sea level, and the pilots did not have time to warn air-traffic controllers of trouble.

Only 10 percent of the wreckage has been recovered despite a three week search, leaving investigators with little to go on.

All 225 people aboard the jet were killed in China Airline's fourth fatal accident since 1994. About 120 bodies have been recovered.