Addis Abab, March 22, 2022(Walta) – A Boeing 737-800 passenger jetliner with 132 people on board crashed into a mountainous area in southern China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region at about 2:38 p.m. on Monday.
The crashed plane, operated by China Eastern Airlines, was flying from Kunming, the capital city of southwest China’s Yunnan Province, to Guangzhou, capital of the southern Guangdong Province. The plane lost contact while flying over the city of Wuzhou, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) confirmed.
The crash site is located at Molang Village, Langnan Town in Tengxian County, Wuzhou City in Guangxi, according to a local emergency department.
There were 123 passengers and nine crew members aboard the flight MU5735, which took off at about 1:15 p.m. and was scheduled to land in Guangzhou at 3:05 p.m.
The number of casualties remains unknown.
China Eastern Airlines’ website and some of its social media platforms were turned to black and white in a sign of mourning.
The accident triggered a mountain fire, which has been extinguished, China Media Group (CMG) reported, citing local emergency management staff.
Shortly after the plane crash, Chinese President Xi Jinping ordered all-out efforts for rescue operations and appointed State Council members to find out the cause of the incident as soon as possible, strengthening the investigation of safety hazards in civil aviation and ensuring the absolute safety of aviation operations and people’s lives.
The CAAC and China Eastern Airlines have activated emergency mechanisms and sent working teams to the scene.
The precise cause of the incident remains undetermined.
Flight tracking data suggested that the plane suddenly lost height from its cruising altitude and dropped thousands of meters in three minutes before plummeting to the ground.
The crashed Boeing 737-800 plane had been in service for nearly seven years.
According to CGTN, China Eastern Airlines said it will ground all its Boeing 737-800 aircraft starting from today.