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Last Updated: Wednesday, 24 November, 2004, 08:19 GMT
Chinese crash black boxes found
Wreckage from the plane
Investigators have ruled out sabotage
The flight recorders from a plane that crashed in northern China at the weekend, killing 55 people, have been found after a three-day search.

The cabin voice recorder was damaged and would be sent to Beijing for examination, Xinhua news agency said.

The search for the so-called black boxes had been hampered by icy conditions in the lake into which the plane crashed, near the city of Baotou.

It was the first serious air accident in China for more than two years.

All 47 passengers on board, six crew members, and two people on the ground were killed in the crash on Sunday in Inner Mongolia.

Investigators are hoping the flight recorders will shed light on how the crash happened, although it is not clear that they will hold much information, as the accident happened just seconds after take-off.

21 Nov 2004: Plane plunges into frozen lake near Baotou, Inner Mongolia, killing 54
7 May 2002: 112 people die when plane crashes into sea near north-eastern city of Dalian
15 April 2002: Chinese plane crash near Busan, South Korea, kills 129 people
24 Feb 1999: Plane crashes in Zhejiang province after a mid-air explosion, killing 61

Officials have ruled out sabotage as a cause of the crash.

The China Eastern plane, a Canadian-built CRJ-200 jet, took off from the industrial city of Baotou, about 600km (360 miles) west of the capital, Beijing, and seconds later plunged into Nanhai Park near the airport.

Xinhua quoted witnesses as saying that the plane "broke into flaming fragments", destroying a house next to the park and several yachts.

It was the deadliest aviation disaster in China since May 2002, when 112 people died after their plane fell into the ocean near the north-eastern city of Dalian.

State media recently highlighted the fact that there had been no serious accidents, despite a surge in air traffic.

China plane plunges into icy lake
21 Nov 04 |  Asia-Pacific
Hijacker killed on Chinese flight
27 Sep 00 |  Asia-Pacific
China crash's 'black box' found
14 May 02 |  Asia-Pacific
Chinese air crashes 'delay' reforms
10 May 02 |  Asia-Pacific
Country profile: China
26 Oct 04 |  Country profiles


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