All 132 people on board the plane that crashed into a mountain slope in southern China this week have been confirmed dead, the country’s civil aviation authority said Saturday.
Dozens of relatives of the victims had been waiting for days as rescue teams combed the dense forested slopes to find plane wreckage and signs of survivors of Monday’s crash near the city of Wuzhou, Guangxi province.
“All 123 passengers and nine crew of China Eastern airline MU5735 were killed on board on March 21,” Hu Zhenjiang, deputy director general of China’s Civil Aviation Administration, told a news conference.
“The identities of 120 victims have been determined through DNA identification.”
Flight officials confirmed they had found a black box they believed was a cockpit voice recorder, which was supposed to provide vital clues to the cause of the crash.
The cause has baffled aviation authorities, who have been roaming the rugged terrain in search of clues in what is almost certain to be the deadliest plane crash in China in nearly 30 years.
The disaster sparked an unusually quick public response from President Xi Jinping, who ordered an investigation into the cause as aviation authorities vowed to conduct a two -week thorough inspection of China’s vast passenger fleet.
The safety message has spread across the sector since the crash.
A notice from the State Council and the Ministry of Emergency Management on Wednesday called on industries across the board to “correct potential safety hazards”.
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