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 accident has not yet been determined, but the discovery of the cockpit voice recorder on Wednesday may provide important clues as to how the disaster occurred. It is one of two so-called “black boxes” that investigators are still searching for the flight data recorder.
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, Laura He, Chris Isidore, and CNN’s Beijing office contributed to this report.
“Amateur organizer. Wannabe beer evangelist. General web fan. Certified internet ninja. Avid reader.”