The China Civil Aviation Administration (CAAC) said it has identified 120 victims using DNA testing, including 114 passengers and six crew members.
The crash of a Boeing 737-800 on Monday marks the worst Chinese air disaster in more than a decade. The Civil Aviation Administration said in a statement that flight MU5735 was on its way from the southwestern city of Kunming to Guangzhou, with 123 passengers and nine crew members on board, when it lost contact with Wuzhou.
The cause of the plane crash has not yet been determined, but rescue teams on Sunday found the second so-called “black box” on board the plane, according to China’s Xinhua News Agency. The state TV channel CGTN also showed pictures of what was also reported to be the black box.
The recovery of the flight data recorder, along with the cockpit voice recorder that was discovered on Wednesday and sent to Beijing for analysis, should provide important clues about how the disaster occurred.
Zhou Tao, director of the CAAC’s Office of Aviation Safety, said at a news conference Saturday that teams found an emergency locator transmitter, which is usually installed near the second black box.
The investigation by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) is still ongoing, with the participation of the US National Transportation Safety Board and the US Federal Aviation Administration. But it could be months, or even more than a year, before families receive any answers — the final report on the 2010 Henan Airlines crash wasn’t released until nearly two years later.
Crash investigators warned Tuesday that their investigation into the cause of the crash would be “extremely difficult” given the extent of severe damage to the plane.
He said the plane that was grounded is undergoing safety and maintenance checks to ensure it is safe to fly. He added that the airline also launched a comprehensive safety overhaul after the accident.
The 737-800 is the most common version of Boeing’s jet aircraft in use today, and is the backbone of many airline fleets.
There are 4,502 of the 737-800s now in service worldwide, according to aviation analytics company Cirium, making it the most frequently used Boeing (BA) aircraft.
CNN’s Jesse Young, Angus Watson, Laura He, Chris Isidore, and CNN’s Beijing office contributed to this report.
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