The second black box of the passenger plane that crashed this week in China, with 132 people on board, was recovered on Sunday and could help to unravel the mystery of the vertiginous fall of the aircraft.
The China Eastern Airlines Boeing 737-800, traveling between the Chinese cities of Kunming (southeast) and Guangzhou (south), crashed in a forested region of Wuzhou (south) after a vertiginous fall of several kilometers in a few minutes. .
“The second black box of China Eastern flight MU5735 was recovered on March 27,” the state news agency Xinhua reported.
The causes of the accident, which claimed the lives of 123 passengers and nine crew, have not been determined. All persons on board were of Chinese nationality.
The first black box, which contains the cockpit conversations, was retrieved on Wednesday and sent to Beijing to be decoded, a task that could take several days.
The second black box contains flight data such as speed, altitude and route followed.
– Orange cylinder –
Public television CCTV broadcast footage of rescuers as they retrieved the earth-covered orange cylinder that was found 1.5 meters underground under the roots of a tree.
“Although other parts of the record company were severely damaged, the data storage unit appears to be relatively intact” and “has been sent to a professional laboratory for decoding,” said Zhu Tao, director of air safety at the Chinese aviation administration. civil.
With the plane’s two black boxes recovered, investigators should have the first elements to determine the causes of the accident.
On Saturday night, after confirming the identity of almost all the victims through DNA evidence, the Chinese civil aviation administration confirmed that all people on board had died in the accident.
It is the worst air accident since 1994 in China, where air safety is considered by experts to be very good.
On Sunday afternoon, a three-minute tribute was celebrated to the 132 victims at the scene of the accident, according to CCTV.
As the sirens sounded, the firefighters, dressed in white suits and masks, held their red helmets under their arms and bowed their heads in a sign of respect.
Now that the number of victims is known, the process of compensating the relatives has begun, said Liu Xiaodong, director of China Eastern’s communication department, quoted by Xinhua on Sunday.
Meanwhile, hundreds of firefighters, first responders, doctors, investigators, volunteers and political officials remain at the crash site to continue the search.
On the steep hill amid dense vegetation, with the help of backhoe loaders of orange or yellow color, workers try to recover human remains and the wreckage of the plane to continue the investigation.
According to specialized website FlightRadar24, the plane lost 21,250 feet in height (6,477 meters) in one minute.
After a brief recovery, it fell again 4,625 feet (1,410 meters), according to the tracker, and disappeared from radar at 3,255 feet (983 meters) above the ground.
Experts consider such a drop to be very rare.
According to a preliminary investigation, the pilots’ hours of service were considered very good and their family situations “harmonious”, according to the airline.
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