China plane crash that killed 132 was 'caused intentionally by someone in cockpit'

18 May 2022, 06:43 | Updated: 18 May 2022, 06:44

The plane nosedived into a Chinese mountain
The plane nosedived into a Chinese mountain. Picture: Social media/Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

The China plane crash that killed all 132 of its passengers after a horror nosedive was 'caused intentionally by someone in the cockpit', black box data has indicated.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

The China Eastern Boeing 737-800 plummeted out of the sky on March 21, briefly recovering before slamming into the ground.

The preliminary assessment from US officials - who analysed both black boxes at a government lab in Washington DC - suggested someone inside the most secure area of the plane was responsible, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.

The paper cited people familiar with the assessment, adding that there was no evidence as of yet of technical problems with the jet.

"The plane did what it was told to do by someone in the cockpit," a source said.

It is unclear whether the hypothesis is based off scenarios such as a pilot acting alone, a struggle, or a passenger breaking into the cockpit.

However, the airline told the paper that a cockpit intrusion was not plausible, after Chinese authorities said in a March press conference that there was no emergency code sent before the crash.

Read more: No survivors found after plane nosedives into mountainside in China

Read more: 'Catastrophic incident on board' Chinese plane sparked death plunge, expert says

Footage from China shows crash site of jet

The flight, which was travelling from Kunming, in the southern province Yunnan, east to Guangzhou, carried 123 passengers and nine crew members, according to the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC).

Local police were called by villagers about the crash at about 2.30pm [6.30am GMT], about 15 minutes after the plane lost contact.

The pilots did not respond to repeated calls from air traffic controllers and nearby planes during the rapid descent, authorities previously said.

It was mainland China's deadliest aviation disaster in 28 years.

Boeing Co - the maker of the jet - and the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) declined to comment and referred questions to Chinese regulators, according to Reuters.

The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), which is leading the investigation, did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Chinese astronauts

China prepares to send three astronauts to Tiangong space station

Two footballers suspended by their club after being accused of rape

Two Premier League footballers, 19, arrested over rape claim suspended by their club

Zoe Ball revealed her mother had died after a battle with cancer

Devastated Zoe Ball says 'sleep tight dear mama' as she announces her mother's death from cancer

Fayez's Mercedes taxi was smashed into

Terrified taxi driver describes moment bloody Household Cavalry horse smashed into his Mercedes van

Taiwan and US officials

China blasts ‘dangerous situation’ over US military aid to Taiwan

Horses on the loose in London this morning

Live updates: Five people injured as bloodied horses tear through central London crashing into cars and bus

Moon lander image

Japan’s moon lander survives third long freezing lunar night

Prabowo Subianto

Prabowo Subianto declared Indonesian president-elect as rivals’ appeal rejected

Five people including one of the riders were injured and all of the horses are now under control

Spooked Household Cavalry horses bolt through traffic in central London injuring five people in three locations

Fuel prices have risen in recent weeks

Petrol prices hit 150p per litre on average for first time since November, in blow for drivers

Flowers on church gate

Seven teenagers arrested as part of Sydney bishop stabbing investigation

Ayrton Senna's personal Honda NSX has been listed for sale

Ayrton Senna’s personal Honda NSX supercar on sale on AutoTrader for an eye-watering £500,000

Grant Shapps has called for other NATO members to increase defence spending to 2.5% of GDP

Grant Shapps calls for other NATO members to follow UK's lead and boost defence spending to 2.5% of GDP

Jill Dando was shot dead outside her home in 1999. Her murder has never been solved

Serbian assassin ‘looks like man seen running near Jill Dando’s home on the day of Crimewatch presenter's murder’

Declan Rice and his girlfriend Lauren Fryer

Declan Rice's girlfriend deletes all social media pictures after online trolls start bullying over her appearance

Frank Field

Former Labour minister and crossbench peer Frank Field dies aged 81