A Chinese plane with 132 people on board a domestic flight crashed in the southern province of Guangxi on Monday, officials said.
There was no immediate word on the number of dead or injured. On board were 123 passengers and nine crew members from China Eastern Airlines, according to the Civil Aviation Administration of China. Earlier reports said 133 people were on board.
The crash happened near the city of Wuzhou in Teng County as the plane, a China Eastern Boeing 737-800, was traveling from Kunming in the western province of Yunnan to Guangzhou in the coastal province of Guangdong. , aviation officials said.
Chinese President Xi Jinping has called for a “full effort” in rescue operations and an investigation into any potential security risks.
Firefighters were working to bring the flames under control after the crash sparked a mountainside blaze. The Guangxi Fire Department was arranging for 650 rescuers to come to the site, and 117 were already at the scene, the People’s Daily reported. Shared video by the People’s Daily showed smoke billowing from the side of a mountain.
Data from flight tracking website FlightRadar24.com shows that the China Eastern flight traveled about 30,000 feet before suddenly dropping. The plane was taxiing at its cruising altitude speed of 523 mph, the data showed.
Shanghai-based China Eastern is one of the country’s leading airlines, serving 248 domestic and international destinations.
Boeing said in a statement it was aware of reports of the crash and was “working to gather more information.”
The Boeing 737-800 was delivered to China Eastern in June 2015 and flew for over six years. The aircraft made its debut in the 1990s and Boeing has manufactured over 5,200 of the popular commercial aircraft.
In January 2020, Iranian paramilitary Revolutionary Guards accidentally shot down a type 737-800 flown by Ukraine International Airlines. All 176 people on board were killed.
The plane is different from the 737 Max model, which has been grounded worldwide after two fatal crashes in recent years. China recently cleared this aircraft model to return to service.
China’s most recent civilian airline fatality occurred in 2010 when a Henan Airlines flight crashed while landing in fog in Yichun, Heilongjiang province. Forty-four people were killed and the pilot was sentenced to three years in prison.
In 2004, a China Eastern flight from Baotou in Inner Mongolia crashed into a lake shortly after takeoff, killing 55 people.
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