The Boeing 737-800 passenger plane was flying from Kunming to Guangzhou on March 21 when it crashed into a mountainous area in Guangxi, China. All 123 passengers and nine crew members were killed.
The Wall Street Journal was the first to report the news.
Officials speaking to ABC News note that the plane’s flaps were not activated and the landing gear was not down. They believe the plane’s near-vertical descent would have required deliberate violence.
According to Chinese officials, the plane hit the ground with such force that it left a 20 meter deep hole in the ground.
Investigators are also looking into the personal life and background of one of the pilots and believe he may have been struggling with certain issues shortly before the crash, ABC News has learned.
The US National Transportation Safety Board said all information on the investigation will come from its counterparts in the Civil Aviation Administration of China, but regulators and Boeing have not reported any mechanical problems. Sources said Chinese investigators have not found any mechanical problems either.
“The NTSB will not issue any further updates on the CAAC’s investigation into the crash of the China Eastern 5735,” the NTSB said in a statement. “When and if CAAC issues updates is entirely up to them. And I haven’t heard of any plans to do so.”
The first black box, the cockpit voice recorder, was found on March 23, while the flight data recorder was found on March 27.
Early data showed the airliner plummeted from 29,000 feet to 8,000 feet, leveled off, and then went into free fall. A video showed the plane nose-diving into the ground.
ABC News’ Mark Osborne contributed to this report.
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https://abc13.com/china-eastern-airlines-plane-crash-intentional-news/11863089/ China Eastern Airlines plane crash that killed 132, caused by premeditated act: US officials