Chinese people mourn crash victims, hope two black boxes provide more clues to cause of tragedy

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Heartbroken people across China mourned on Sun-day the victims of China Eastern Airlines’ crashed Boeing 737-800 on the seventh day after the disaster, as netizens expressed heartfelt condolences in comment sections which were filled with emojis and stickers of candles and tears. According to Chinese tradition, the seventh day after a death is the height of the mourning period.

Also on Sunday, officials said they have found the second black box, the flight data recorder, of the crashed plane. Data from both black boxes is being decoded and are expected to provide more clues to explain what caused the tragic crash. The news is believed to provide some relief and comfort for grieving relatives and friends.

On Sunday afternoon, a collective mourning event for victims of the crash was held at the search site where the accident occurred in Tengxian county, South China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Re-gion.

All the staff of national emergency response headquarters for the accident, and the search and rescue personnel stood solemnly in the direction of the crashed aircraft and observed three minutes of silence to express condolences to the victims.

All 132 people on board are dead, China’s avia-tion authorities confirmed Saturday night. More than 466,000 comments followed a People’s Daily Weibo post on Saturday night which said “Rest in peace, victims of crashed China Eastern Airlines Flight MU5735.” One of the most supported posts read “Although I knew the result, the final confirmation is still heart shattering.”

“The whole country was expecting miracles… Hope everyone on MU5735 has gone to the world of fairy tales. Rest in peace,” wrote another Weibo user. “They were lost in the sky. They will be carried by the clouds back home!” read another comment with 13,000 likes.

China Eastern, the operator of the Boeing 737-800 flight MU5735, said it deeply mourns the vic-tims of the crash in a social media post on Saturday night after the official confirmation of the tragedy.

Chinese officials said 632 family members of the victims of MU5735 have been to the crash site in groups to offer condolences and psychological counseling has been administered more than 1,200 times to family members, according to the press conference on Sunday.

Yin Ping, head of the psychological rescue expert group for the incident, suggested that the families of the victims should not be disturbed excessively, which might cause secondary harm.

He noted the victims’ families will have obvious expressions of sadness as seven days after the crash they have begun to face and accept the fact that their loved ones had perished, adding that what they need is understanding, company and a natural venting of emotions.

Investigations into air crashes take a long time. The most important thing right now is to appease the grief and overcome the psychological difficulties with families and civil aviation employees, Qin Ling, a deputy-director of Shanghai Morning Post told the Global Times on Sunday. He is also a veteran of the civil aviation industry. China’s civil aviation industry had achieved more than 100 million hours of safe flight before the crash on March 21, which is not by luck, but the result of the hard work of many civil aviation personnel. This cannot be completely overridden by an air crash, he added.—AP

 

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