China’s Civil Aviation Administration confirmed that a passenger plane carrying more than 130 people on board crashed Monday afternoon in a mountainous region of southern China, prompting rescue teams to rush to the steep, tree-drenched site in the hope of finding survivors.
Initial Chinese news reports said a Boeing 737, operated by China Eastern Airlines, crashed in the Guangxi region, and flames and smoke were seen rising from a hill. common of the scene.
“The situation with the victims is still unclear,” said an online report by Chinese state television.
Residents of the area reporters That the plane appeared to have crashed amid wreckage, dampened hopes of finding survivors.
Initial reports said the plane crashed in Teng County in Guangxi while flying from Kunming, a city in southwest China, to the southernmost city of Guangzhou. The plane was carrying 132 people, including 123 passengers and 9 crew members. said the paper, news site in Shanghai. Government media reports initially said 133 passengers were on board.
The local forest fire service told China TV that about 300 rescue workers were racing to reach the accident site by early evening, and another 150 were due to arrive later in the night. Flight data indicated that the aircraft, about seven years old, had been flying steadily on this flight until it suddenly lost altitude at around 2:20 pm.
The plane was not a Boeing 737 Max, the model that has not resumed flying in China after a ban imposed by fatal crashes in China. Indonesia in 2018 And the Ethiopia in 2019. But Chinese airlines began issuing new orders for the Max after Chinese aviation authorities indicated late last year that the model could resume flying after some adjustments and safety measures were introduced.
This accident could become one of the worst air disasters in China in many years, after a series of fatal accidents in the 1990s. Over the past two decades, the country has established a relatively safe flight record, thanks to a nascent fleet of aircraft and stricter air controls.
China’s news service reported that firefighters in Teng County were first alerted to a possible aviation accident there in the afternoon, when villagers reported that they came across a plane wreck.
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