Disasters & Accidents

Chinese media retract news that crashed jet’s second black box was found

(Update 1: Adds information pars 1-4, changes headline and lede, minor edits)

Beijing, Mar 25 (EFE).- Chinese state media that on Friday reported the discovery of the second black box of the plane that crashed in the south of the country with 132 people on board have retracted the news, as the search continues.

The finding was first reported by CAAC News, a media outlet managed by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), and was echoed by state media outlets, before the original publisher removed the information.

“Due to our work mistakes, the verification of relevant facts is not rigorous, and this morning we mistakenly sent out the false news about finding the second black box. We sincerely apologize to the readers,” CACC said.

According to another state news agency, Xinhua, rescue teams continue to search for the second black box, which records technical information such as the plane’s flight path, speed, altitude and engine power.

The item could clarify why the Boeing 737-800 that was flying between Kunming and Guangzhou, crashed in Guangxi region at 2.38 pm local time on Monday, with no survivors found so far.

On Wednesday, the black box that records the voices in the cockpit was found and sent to Beijing to be inspected by specialists.

Following the discovery of the first black box, Zhu Tao, director of the Office of Aviation Safety at the Civil Aviation Administration of China, said that “an initial inspection shows the exterior of the receiver is severely damaged. The memory unit also suffered some damage, but it has remained intact.”

Downloading and analyzing the data recorded in the black box “will take time,” Zhu said, adding that the device “will provide important information about the cause of the accident.”

The plane, which according to some witnesses “nosedived,” plunged vertically almost 8,000 meters in less than three minutes, according to the FlightRadar24 flight tracking website, for reasons that are still unknown.

The plane had been flying since June 2015 and had passed all checks and its technical condition was stable and normal prior to takeoff, a China Eastern Airlines representative said, according to local media reports.

So far, search and rescue teams have covered an area of about 46,000 square meters and have found some human remains and some parts of the plane, including one of the engines, state broadcaster CGTN reported Thursday.

Steep terrain and rainfall have hampered search efforts.

Shortly after the incident, the Civil Aviation Administration of China announced a two-week investigation of the Chinese airline industry to ensure the absolute safety of aviation operations. EFE aa/pd/tw

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