Officials claimed a China Eastern Boeing 737-800 carrying 132 passengers crashed in the southern region of Guangxi on Monday.
In a statement, China’s Civil Aviation Administration reported the disaster happened near Wuzhou in Teng county. According to the report, the airplane was flying from Kunming in Yunnan’s western region to Guangzhou, China’s industrial capital on the east coast.
There was no immediate information on how many people were killed or wounded. According to the CAAC, the jet was carrying 123 passengers and nine staff members, revising earlier claims that there were 133 people on board.
President Xi Jinping of China has called for a “all-out effort” in the rescue mission, as well as the handling of post-crash procedures and the investigation of any safety threats to ensure comprehensive civil aviation flight safety.
117 rescuers have already arrived at the disaster site, according to People’s Daily. The Guangxi Fire Department has dispatched 650 rescuers from three directions to the scene.
According to CCTV, China Eastern Airlines has dispatched nine teams to the scene, with emphasis on aircraft disposal, accident investigation, and family aid. The CAAC said it had dispatched a team of authorities, and the Guangxi fire department said it was working to put out a hillside fire sparked by the collision.
NASA satellite data revealed a large fire just where the plane fell down at the moment of the disaster.
Calls to China Eastern’s offices were not returned promptly. Local police initially got calls from residents alerting them to the incident about 2:30 p.m., according to state media. Contact with the jet was lost around 2:15 p.m., according to the Guangxi province emergency management agency (0615 GMT).
The Boeing Company, located in Chicago, said it was aware of the early reports of the disaster and was “gathering further information.” Boeing’s shares fell more than 8% in pre-market trade on Monday.
Shanghai-based China Eastern is one of China’s top three airlines, with a network of more than 200 domestic and international services connecting 248 locations.
According to data from flight-tracking website FlightRadar24.com, China Eastern aircraft No. 5735 was flying at roughly 30,000 feet when it suddenly commenced a steep dive at its cruising altitude speed of 455 knots (523 mph, 842 kph). According to the statistics, whatever went wrong with the plane caused the plane to crash within a minute and a half.
Just southwest of Wuzhou, China, the plane ceased sending data.
The plane had been flying for more than six years when it was handed to China Eastern from Boeing in June 2015. The Boeing 737-800 is one of China Eastern Airlines’ key workhorses, with 109 of its nearly 600 planes being Boeing 737-800s.
Following the incident, China Eastern Online switched to a black-and-white homepage.
The 737-800 was first delivered to customers in 1997, and the last of the series was delivered to China Eastern in 2020. It produced approximately 5,200 narrow-body planes, which are a popular single-aisle commuter plane.
The twin-engine, single-aisle Boeing 737 is one of the most popular short- and medium-haul jets in the world. The 737-800 and the 737 Max are two variants of the same aircraft used by China Eastern.
The deadliest Boeing 737-800 catastrophe occurred in January 2020, when Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard inadvertently shot down a Ukraine International Airlines flight, killing all 176 passengers and crew members on board.
After two tragic crashes, the 737 Max was grounded all over the world. Late this year, China’s aviation authority approved the plane’s return to operation, making it the final major market to do so.
The last fatal crash of a civilian aircraft in China occurred in 2010.