China’s Civil Aviation Authority confirmed 132 people had been aboard the downed China Eastern Airlines aircraft
China’s Civil Aviation Authority confirmed on Monday that a Boeing 737 had crashed in a mountain range in Tengxian, Guangxi, in the country’s south.
The plane had been carrying 132 people – 123 passengers and nine crew – the authority announced in a brief statement. We don’t know how many people were injured or whether there have been any deaths.
CCTV, a Chinese state media outlet stated that rescue efforts are currently underway and that there had been a report of a mountain fire following the incident. Social media is abuzz with footage allegedly showing the aircraft being shot down, although its authenticity has yet to be confirmed.
Flight MU5735 had been traveling from Kunming to Guangzhou when it experienced difficulty, according to flight tracking data websites.
【Crash site】A Boeing 737 passenger plane carrying 133 people from China Eastern Airlines had an accident in Teng County, Guangxi and then triggered a mountain fire. Although the rescue crew has now gathered information, it is not yet known what happened to the victims. pic.twitter.com/udlT6qqKWZ
— 豆腐Toufu.exe🀄️ (@y1499003) March 21, 2022
Online footage reportedly shows the last moments of Flight MU 5735. It appears that the aircraft was seen nosediving in the mountains where it occurred. Video captured by CCTV and a dashcam shows what some social media users believe was the plane just seconds before the crash.
This plane was registered B-1791 and appears to have been in operation for the last seven years.
China Eastern Airlines has reportedly temporarily suspended all flights after the Boeing 737 accident. It’s not known how long China Eastern Airlines plans to keep their planes grounded, or what inspections will be conducted on the fleet.
In the aftermath of Monday’s news about the plane crash, the official website of China Eastern Airlines went monochrome.
President Xi Jinping expressed shock at the incident and directed an urgent investigation to determine the causes. It is believed that the aircraft lost contact to air traffic control and crashed thousands of meters within three minutes.
Chinese airlines have maintained a strong safety record over the past few years – a period during which the country established new infrastructure to meet the nation’s growth. China’s last fatal air accident was in 2010, when 44 of the 96 people aboard an aircraft died in a crash, according to the Aviation Safety Network. China Northwest Airlines was responsible for the 1994 crash that resulted in 160 deaths among its passengers and crew.
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