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UPDATE: Boeing 737 carrying 132 passengers crashes into mountains in China

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Screenshot via flightradar

A Boeing 737 passenger jet carrying 132 people has crashed in China, according to a Chinese state media broadcast earlier today. Reports say the Chinese Eastern Airlines flight MU5735 went missing earlier in the day as it was headed from Kunming to Guangzhou. The plane was carrying 123 passengers and 9 crew.

The China Eastern Airlines aircraft plummeted rapidly then appears to have smashed into the hillside near the city of Wuzhou in Teng county. The sudden nosedive of the plane has left aircraft accident specialists baffled as authorities struggle to piece together the jet’s last minutes. The plane was at cruise altitude when it suddenly went into a severe dive, plunging 26,000 feet in roughly 1 minute, 35 seconds, almost straight down.

This afternoon, a broadcaster on CCTV reported that the jet crashed in Guangxi in southern China and fire could be visible from a mountain. Rescue teams are now responding to the scene. There was no word on the cause of the crash of the plane, a 6 year old 737-800 aircraft, according to Flightradar24.

Chinese Eastern Airlines says it is grounding all its Boeing 737-800s and that “the aircraft currently in the air would not carry more flights after landing”.

Flight trackers report the plane was flying for just over an hour. The plane went down near the city of Wuzhou in Teng County. Guangxi is a southern province neighbouring Guangzhou, a major city in China’s south-east.

UPDATE: Boeing 737 carrying 132 passengers crashes into mountains in China | News by Thaiger

Rescue crews have been deployed to the area, according to state media CCTV.

Chinese President Xi Jinping said he was “shocked” by the crash in the country’s southwest and called for “an investigation into the incident”.

“We are shocked to learn of the China Eastern MU5735 accident.”

According to FlightRadar24 data, the last sourced information on the flight showed it ended at 14:22 local time, at an altitude of 3,225 ft.

Whilst the model of the aircraft was a Boeing 737, it wasn’t a new model 737 Max, the subject of 2 controversial crashes in 2018 and 2019. It was listed as a Boeing 737-89P model, the predecessor of the new Max model aircraft. The 737-800 NG, was the third iteration of the Boeing single-aisle 737, originally flown in 1967. As of 2018, the NG had one of the best safety records among jetliners, with just 8 fatal accidents out of more than 7,000 sold.

China Eastern own 2 of the new Boeing 737 Max 8 jets, with another 2 on order, but have kept the new jets grounded since the 2 crashes of the Max model 737.

The aircraft that crashed was delivered to China Eastern in June 2015 and had been flying for over 6 years. The twin-engine, single aisle Boeing 737 is one of the world’s most popular planes.

The safety record of China’s airline industry has been among the best in the world over the past decade. The last major incident at China Eastern Airlines was back in June 2013 when a Brazilian-built Embraer SA jet skidded off the runway while landing at Shanghai airport.

UPDATE: Boeing 737 carrying 132 passengers crashes into mountains in China | News by Thaiger

Video of the smoking wreckage here… https://www.youtube.com/shorts/_gYmchcYUgs

SOURCES: CNA | CNN

 

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