Search teams have found a black box from the China Eastern flight, which nosedived into mountains in southern China this week carrying 132 passengers.
The Chinese aviation officials announced the finding at a press conference on Wednesday, after two days of search and rescue efforts.
Authorities said they have yet to report the number of dead but feared none of the 132 people on board survived the high-altitude crash.
Mao Yanfeng, director of the civil aviation accident investigation department, said there had been “no dangerous weather” on the plane’s route at the time of the crash.
Mao Yanfeng added the plane’s crew and air traffic control had maintained the usual communication until the plane’s sudden drop in altitude.
Air controllers had repeatedly called the aircraft during its descent but had received no response, authorities said.
Flight tracking website FlightRadar24 showed the jet sharply dropped from an altitude of about 8,900 to 2,400 meters in just over a minute.
On Wednesday, rescuers were forced to pause the search as rain raised risks to teams working in a zone where a large pit had been bored out by the impact of the aircraft.
China Eastern said the crashed plane, which was seven years old, had met all airworthiness requirements pre-flight.
Aviation authorities said more evidence was needed to produce sound conclusions.
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