China: Plane Carrying 132 Crashes, Casualties Unknown

Beijing: An Eastern Passenger Jet carrying 132 members on board, has crashed in southwest China aviation authorities said, with state media reporting it led to a fire on a mountain and the number of casualties unknown.

The China Eastern flight departed at 1.11 pm local time (0511 GMT), from Kunming to Guangzhou.

The flight lost airborne contact over Wuzhou city in the Guangxi region, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) said in an online announcement.

“At present, it has been confirmed that this flight has crashed,” the CAAC said. Further they added that it had activated its emergency response and “dispatched a working group to the scene”.

There were 123 passengers and 9 flight crew members on board, the CAAC said. Earlier state media had reported that there were 133 passengers on board.

State broadcaster CCTV reported that the plane crashed in Teng county near Wuzhou and “caused a mountain fire”, citing the provincial emergency management bureau.

A villager speaking with local news channel said that the plane involved in the crash had “completely fallen apart” and he had seen nearby forest areas destroyed by a fire caused when the plane crashed onto the mountainside.

The local media has reported that China Eastern flight MU5735 had not arrived as planned in Guangzhou after taking off from Kunming shortly after 1:00 pm (0500 GMT).

On being contacted by AFP, there was no immediate response from the China Eastern.

“The exact location of the accident was Langnan township in Teng county,” a local official told AFP, without giving further details.

Flight tracker FlightRadar24 showed no more data for flight MU5735 after 2:22 pm local time, when it had reached Wuzhou. It showed that the plane had sharply dropped from an altitude of 29,100 feet to 3,225 feet in the span of three minutes, before flight information stopped.

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