Disasters & Accidents

Black box recovered from southern China plane crash

Beijing, Mar 23 (EFE).- Search teams recovered one of the black boxes from the China Eastern plane that crashed Monday in the south of the country with 132 people on board, state media reported Wednesday.

The box is seriously damaged, according to workers from the rescue groups cited by the official Xinhua news agency, and it is unknown whether it is the flight data or cockpit voice recorder.

The aircraft, a Boeing 737-800, was traveling between the cities of Kunming and Guangzhou and took off at 1:15 p.m. local time (05:15 GMT) Monday before quickly crashing in the Guangxi region at 2:38 p.m. local time (06:38 GMT.)

Authorities have not yet reported finding survivors, while rescue work continues, hampered at times by rain, in the steep area where the aircraft fell.

Chinese official media, the only ones allowed to access the area to cover the incident, also said weather conditions were normal at the time of the incident, according to an official.

A representative of China Eastern quoted by the Global Times newspaper said the plane, in service since June 2015, had passed all revisions established by the regulations and that its technical condition was “stable and normal” during takeoff.

He also said the airline’s decision to ground its entire fleet of Boeing 737-800s, thus canceling hundreds of flights, does not mean the model presents “potential security risks,” but rather that it is an emergency response after a large-scale crash.

China Eastern’s decision was also replicated by other Chinese airlines such as Shanghai Airlines and China United Airlines.

The company, the second largest in the country by number of passengers, has also reported that none of the nine crew members had health problems.

The Civil Aviation Administration of China announced an investigation of the national aviation sector that will last for two weeks “to guarantee absolute security” in the operations of the sector.

Monday’s incident ended a string of almost 12 years without serious aviation incidents in the country. EFE


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