The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) has refuted rumors from US media that an intentional nosedive was the reason Flight MU5735 crashed into the Guangxi mountains, killing all 132 people on board.
On Tuesday, May 17, the Wall Street Journal quoted an unnamed source “who is familiar with American officials’ preliminary assessment,” including an analysis of information extracted from the plane’s black box.
The source claims that the plane suddenly descended before the crash because “it was told to so by someone in the cockpit.”
Following the claims in the Wall Street Journal, which were subsequently covered by numerous international media outlets, the CAAC told Global Times on Wednesday, May 18, that they have not released any information about the investigation to the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), who are part of the probe.
The NTSB said to Chinese state media that they do not comment on investigations led by others, therefore neither confirming nor denying the claims by the Wall Street Journal’s source.
Another result of the American investigation, according to the Wall Street Journal source, is that “Chinese authorities, who are leading the investigation, so far haven’t flagged any mechanical or flight-control problems.”
The CAAC said that the investigation is still ongoing, and they are carrying out in-depth wreck identification, flight data analysis and other related work.
On April 21, the CAAC claimed that there were no irregularities or pilot errors that led to China Eastern Airlines Flight MU5735 crashing into the mountains of Guangxi on March 21.
The Wall Street Journal said that the US officials are looking at the actions of the pilot and are not ruling out the possibility that someone on the plane may have broken into the cockpit.
Boeing Co. (the manufacturer of the plane) and air-safety regulators are not currently looking into service bulletins or safety directives as a result of the crash, which they have previously done when an aircraft has malfunctioned.
The Boeing 737-800 was flying from Kunming to Guangzhou on March 21 when it rapidly descended from 29,000 feet into South China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.
READ MORE: Flight MU5735: A Search and Rescue Diary
[Cover image via Weibo@中国新闻网]