A plane carrying 132 people has crashed in southwestern China near the city of Wuzhou. It is a Boeing 737 of the company China Eastern. It confirms that there were deaths in the crash. Rescuers found no evidence of any survivors. Unconfirmed images from a surveillance camera show the plane crashing straight down.
“The company pays a sad tribute to the passengers and crew who died in the accident,” said a statement from China Eastern Airlines. It is the first time that the airline speaks about fatalities after the accident. However, she was unable to balance.
The accident happened in a remote, hilly area near the city of Wuzhou in the Guangxi region. The plane, with flight number MU5735, had taken off in Kunming in Yunnan province shortly after 1 pm local time and was en route to Guangzhou in Guangdong province, about 1,300 kilometers away. At 2:19 p.m. local time, the aircraft suddenly dived at an altitude of 8,800 meters. Two minutes later, contact was lost.
Data from FlightRadar24 shows that the six-year-old plane took a nosedive. The cause of the crash is not yet known, but there is plenty of speculation. “Even if both engines of the Boeing 737 had failed at the same time, it would be impossible to crash at such a speed because the plane could still float for a while,” an expert on state media said.
Videos made by local residents and circulating on social media show a thick cloud of smoke. The debris is widely scattered. Certain images also show the plane nearly crashing upside down, but those images have not yet been verified. Local residents report that there is rubble everywhere and clothes are hanging in the trees.
After the crash, a forest fire started over an area of four hectares, but it was later extinguished. The airline’s website was colored black and white, as a sign of respect for the victims. A special phone number has been opened for family members of the occupants. China Eastern Airlines is currently grounding all Boeing 737s in its fleet.
Chinese President Xi Jinping said he was “shocked”. He wants to do everything possible to find out the cause of the accident as quickly as possible.
Beijing authorities confirm that 132 people were on board, including 9 crew members.
The last major plane crash in China happened in August 2010 in Yichun, Heilongjiang Province. 44 people on board were killed in an emergency landing of a Henan Airlines plane, 52 others survived the incident.
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