A Chinese aircraft carrying 132 people on board crashed in the crashed in the southern region of Guangxi on Monday, Chinese state media reported. The China Eastern Airlines passenger was flying from the city of Kunming to Guangzhou when the crash happened, China's Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) said.
There was no information about any casualties in the incident on Monday as yet. Also, the reason behind the crash is still unknown. According to reports, rescue operations are on but it is feared that all on board have died. The CAA said they had also dispatched personnel to the scene.
According to local media, China Eastern flight MU5735 did not arrive at its scheduled destination of Guangzhou after taking off from the city of Kunming shortly after 1:00pm local time on Monday. It was then reported that the flight had crashed.
The aircraft lost communication above Wuzhou, according to the CAAC. On board were 123 passengers and nine crew members. Earlier, state media said that 133 individuals were on board.
There is no immediate report on how the crash happened and an investigation has been launched. It is feared that all the 132 people on board including the crew have died. Rescue workers have been dispatched to the region, and a fire in the woods triggered by the plane crash has been extinguished, according to reports.
The plane involved in the crash was a Boeing 737, according to state broadcaster CCTV. It stated that rescue agencies were en route to the location. According to Flightradar24, the plane was a 6-year-old Boeing 737-800.
The Boeing 737 plane crashed in the countryside near Wuzhou city in the Guangxi region. It "caused a mountain fire", CCTV said.
China Eastern has yet to react or reply to questions about the incident, although it has changed its Weibo account's logo to a grey color. The jet had been in the air for just over an hour and was approaching its destination when it crashed in Wuzhou, according to flight tracking services.
The last sourced information on the flight was that it ended at 14:22 local time, at an altitude of 3,225 feet, according to FlightRadar24 data.
Over the last decade, China has had a good track record in terms of aviation safety. The country's most recent catastrophic aviation tragedy occurred in August 2010, when a Harbin-bound aircraft crashed in Yichun, killing 42 passengers.
Monday's crash is one of the rarest in China's history. A rescue official was quoted in the media as indicating that the plane had fully disintegrated. Before being put out, a fire started by the impact burned down bamboo and trees.
The twin-engine, single-aisle Boeing 737 is one of the most popular short- and medium-haul jets in the world.
After two tragic crashes, the 737 Max was grounded all over the world in 2018. Late this year, China's aviation regulator approved the plane's return to operation, making it the last major market to do so. This is the third major Boeing 737 Max crash to have happened in past four years.