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China’s aviation authorities have confirmed that all 132 people on board the China Eastern Airlines jetliner that crashed in the forested mountains on Monday are dead. All passengers were China’s nationals.
Victims’ families have been waiting for news from the search teams, combing the heavily-wooded area for days since flight MU5735 crashed.
On Monday, the Boeing 737-800 flight from Kunming to Guangzhou nosedived into a mountainside in Guangxi province in the worst plane crash in a decade. The first flight recorder was found on Wednesday. “The second black box from China Eastern flight MU5735 was recovered on March 27,” Xinhua news agency reported. With both now recovered, investigators should be able to begin to piece together what caused the plane to fall more than 6,000 metres (20,000 feet) in just more than a minute. But it could take weeks or months for investigators to determine what caused the crash.
On Thursday, China Eastern Airlines and its subsidiaries temporarily grounded 223 Boeing 737-800 aircraft. The grounded aircraft are undergoing safety inspection to ensure that they are safe to fly.