An official with China’s civil aviation authority said Wednesday that search crews have discovered one of the so-called “black boxes” from the wreckage of a Chinese passenger jet.
China Eastern Flight MU5735 went into a sudden dive and slammed into a mountain in southern Guangxi Monday outside the city of Wuzhou. The Boeing 737-800 jetliner was carrying 132 passengers and crew during a flight from Kunming in Yunnan province to the industrial city of Guangzhou.
Data obtained from flight tracking website FlightRadar24 showed Flight MU5735 plunged at a rate of nearly 8,870 meters per minute before it crashed.
So far, no survivors have been located, but officials have yet to officially declare anyone dead.
Officials earlier Wednesday said the search for the plane’s flight data and cockpit voice recorders were hampered because the large crater caused by the crash was filling with rainwater, raising the risk of small landslides on the steep slopes. The recorders will play a crucial role in determining the cause of the crash.
The crash has prompted China Eastern to ground its entire fleet of Boeing 737-800 planes. China’s civil aviation regulator has announced a two-week safety inspection across the industry.
Monday’s crash was the worst for China’s aviation sector since 2010, when a Brazilian-built Embraer passenger jet operated by Henan Airlines crashed as it was landing in the northeastern city of Yichun, killing 42 of the 96 people on board.
Some information for this report came from The Associated Press, Reuters and Agence France-Presse.