Rescuers conduct search and rescue work at the core site of the plane crash in Tengxian County, southern China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, on March 25, 2022.

Beijing: China said it hasn’t found any evidence of explosive materials in the wreckage of a China Eastern Airlines flight that crashed with 132 people on board.

“Lab tests taken of 66 samples, 41 of which have been completed, showed no major common inorganic explosive or common organic explosive substances have been found,” fire official Zheng Xi said at a briefing in the southern city of Wuzhou on Saturday.

Zhu Tao, an official with the Civil Aviation Administration of China, added that investigators found a transmitter installed close to a missing black box that records flight data, but haven’t retrieved the device itself. A black box that captures voices in the cockpit was found earlier.

Some 24,000 pieces of wreckage have been retrieved, officials said, and remains of 120 people have been identified. The search is focused on an area with a radius of 300 meters (about 330 yards) from the main crash site, though part of a wingtip was found 12 kilometers away.

All 132 confirmed dead

The CAAC held another briefing on Saturday night in Wuzhou to declare that all 132 passengers and crew were dead. China Eastern expressed its condolences in a Tweet.

Rescue officials at the first press conference described a difficult search of the crash site, and showed pictures of investigators slogging through mud. The China Eastern Airlines 737-800 NG went down in the southern region of Guangxi on March 21 while flying from Kunming to Guangzhou, China’s fifth largest city.

The plane plummeted from its cruise altitude of 29,000 feet, leveled off once and then appeared to fall straight down. Chinese state media have said the crash left a crater 20 meters deep.

A China Eastern spokesman attended the earlier briefing on Saturday, saying that it’s been difficult to meet all the needs of relatives of the passengers on the flight.

Many of the relatives are staying at a hotel near the crash site, officials have said.The search team had earlier said it had identified DNA from 120 of the people on board.

The search team has been digging for plane parts in heavy mud both by hand and with machinery.