A Chinese airliner with 133 onboard crashed and caused a mountain fire in South China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, said state media but the number of casualties are not clear yet.
The plane, MU 5735 of China Eastern Airlines took off from Kunming Changshui airport in Southwest China's Yunnan Province at 13:15, and was scheduled to arrive at Guangzhou, South China's Guangdong Province at 15:07, reported Global Times.
Rescue Teams Deployed
Rescue teams have been deployed and they are approaching the site. The plane had 123 are passengers and nine are crew members.
The aircraft involved is a Boeing 737, belonging to the Yunnan subsidiary of China Eastern Airlines, and has been in operation for just over six and a half years. The plane was delivered in June of 2015.
Plane crashes are rare in China as the country witnessed the last fatal crash in 2010 when a flight had crashed in Yichun, Northeast China's Heilongjiang Province.
According to VariFlight, the flight data information provider showed that after flight MU5735 took off from Kunming airport, it had been cruising at an altitude of about 8869 meters. At 2:19 pm, the aircraft suddenly descended from cruising altitude, while flight speed also began to decrease from about 845 kilometers per hour. At 2:21, flight MU5735 lost its ADS-B radar signal also losing contact with the ground.
Wang Yanan, chief editor of Beijing-based Aerospace Knowledge told the Global Times on Monday that as per the aircraft data, there is no information on the pilot's ground information contact and it is very likely that the aircraft lost power at cruising altitude resulting in the pilot losing control of the aircraft. This is a very serious technical failure in which the plane inevitably enters a high-speed descent, said Wang, adding, the specific reason can only be determined once the black box has been recovered.
Visuals appearing on the crash site have shown a grim situation and endorses a possibility of massive casualties as the site is located in terrain, where rescue efforts will be challenging.