China Eastern aircraft crashes in south China, 132 people on board
A China Eastern Airlines passenger aircraft crashed in south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region on Monday afternoon. The number of casualties is still unclear.
The accident happened when the Boeing 737 aircraft, operating the MU5735 flight with 123 passengers and nine crew members on board, was flying from Kunming in southwestern Yunnan Province to Guangzhou, southern Guangdong Province.
The aircraft crashed at about 2:38 pm into a mountainous area near the Molang village in Tengxian County in the city of Wuzhou, causing a mountain fire, according to the emergency management department of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Xinhua news agency wrote.
The fire has been put out and the rescue operation is underway, said Chen Jie, an official with the regional emergency management department, cited by Xinhua.
The Wuzhou fire brigade has sent 117 firefighters with 23 fire trucks to the site. Further 538 firefighters from other parts of Guangxi have been dispatched to join in the rescue efforts, the regional fire department said at its Weibo account, according to Xinhua.
The Boeing 737-800 aircraft which has been operating for more than six years belongs to the Yunnan branch of China Eastern. It was delivered to the carrier in June 2015.
The aircraft has 162 seats, including a dozen business-class seats.
Online video footage showed heavy smoke rising from a mountainous region, while some aircraft parts, including a piece from the wing with the Chinese name of "China Eastern Airlines," are seen scattered on the ground.
Flight radar shows the flying height of the aircraft dropped sharply from over 8 kilometers high to the ground.
The Civil Aviation Administration of China has sent a team to the site.