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China Eastern Airlines Crash Update: 132 people are thought to have died when the plane crashed into a mountain.


  • Airline says it will stop flying its Boeing 737-800 planes after a flight from Kunming to Guangzhou came down suddenly about an hour after takeoff. Locals say they saw fires and debris at the site of the crash in Guangxi, which is in China.
  • There were 132 people on board when a China Eastern Airlines plane crashed into a mountain in southern China on Monday. All of them are thought to have died.

At seven hours after the crash, there was still no official confirmation that anyone had been hurt. This raised fears that there was little chance of finding survivors.

As soon as the Boeing 737-800 went down near Wuzhou in Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, rescue work started right away, state broadcaster CCTV said. More than 600 firefighters were being sent to help out.

Flight MU5735, which took off from Kunming in Yunnan province at 1.10pm, went missing on its way to Guangzhou. It had 123 passengers and nine crew members on board, but it never arrived. A Guangzhou airport app said it couldn't be reached after the plane didn't show up on time at 2.52pm.

China's VariFlight says that the plane had been flying at almost 8,900 meters (29,200 feet) before slowing down and losing height at 2.19pm. As its height rose to around 1,300 meters, it vanished from the radar.

Media said that debris had been found at the site. Local medical teams were sending ambulances to the scene and setting up first-aid stations to help people who were hurt.

A local villager told the Jimu News website that the plane had broken apart and started a fire that had burned down trees and bamboo before local firefighters put out most of the flames with their own water.

When Li was driving from Nanning, the capital of Guizhou, to Wuzhou on the highway, he said he saw a plane fall down.

Photo taken with a mobile phone of the crash site in Guangxi. Photo: Xinhua
Photo taken with a mobile phone of the crash site in Guangxi. Photo: Xinhua

In Li's words: "I was about two to three kilometers away. I couldn't hear the sound, but the black smoke was there and it looked like an explosion."

This happened in a few seconds, and by the time he took pictures with his phone, he could only see the smoke. This is what he said:

So bad, I only found out later that there were more than 100 people on the plane.

People at China Eastern said they were going to stop flying all of their Boeing 737-800 planes on Tuesday. Phone lines have been set up for families who need help, and the airline has turned its website black and white to show how sorry it is for the families of those on the plane.

Families who were waiting at Kunming and Guangzhou airports have also been getting help.

He told Jiemian News that he knew six people, including a 10-year-old boy, who had been on the plane when it went down.

A report on CCTV said that safety checks would be done in the aviation industry. President Xi Jinping said he was shocked to learn about the accident and had ordered an immediate emergency response.

An airplane model called the 737-800 that crashed on Monday has a good record of safety. It's also the predecessor of a model that has been grounded in China for more than three years after two fatal crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia in 2018.

Pictures and videos said to come from the crash site started circulating online. Photo: Weibo
Pictures and videos said to come from the crash site started circulating online. Photo: Weibo

A video from CCTV shows that Boeing said it was trying to get more information about the crash, and that it was. The US Federal Aviation Administration said it was aware of the reports and would be willing to help with the investigation if it was asked to do so.

He said that a plane could suddenly fall to the ground if it had a deep stall. Wang Yanan, editor-in-chief of Aerospace Knowledge magazine, said that

Whether the pilot did something wrong or there was a lot of turbulence isn't clear until a black box comes back and it's found.

"One accident can have a big impact, but Chinese aviation safety has a good track record," he said.

People who work for Cowen say that the most common reasons commercial planes crash are maintenance problems, pilot error, and sabotage, not manufacturing or design problems. This is what they wrote in a note Monday.

When it comes to a plane that is seven years old, it's less likely but not impossible that the design or manufacturing of the plane is to blame.

In 1994, China had its worst air disaster at home, according to the Aviation Safety Network. In 1994, a China Northwest Airlines Tupolev Tu-154 flying from Xian to Guangzhou crashed after taking off, killing all 160 people on board.

A plane crashed in Yichun, Heilongjiang province, in 2010. 44 people were killed in the crash.

For flying more than 10 million hours safely, China Eastern Airlines was given a "Flight Safety Diamond Award" in 2015.

On February 19, Zhu Tao, an official with the Civil Aviation Administration, said that China's airlines had flown more than 100 million hours in a row without a single accident.

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