Beijing: A Boeing 737 passenger jetliner with 132 people on board crashed into a mountainous area in southern China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region at about 2:38 p.m. on Monday.
The crashed plane, belonging to China Eastern Airlines, was flying from the southwestern city of Kunming to south China’s Guangzhou City when it lost contact with the city of Wuzhou, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) confirmed.
The crash site is located at Molang Village, Langnan Town in Tengxian County, Wuzhou City in Guangxi, according to a local emergency department.
There were 123 passengers and nine crew members on the plane. The number of casualties remains unknown.
The accident triggered a mountain fire, which has been extinguished, China Media Group (CMG) reported, citing local emergency management staff.
Shortly after the plane crash, Chinese President Xi Jinping ordered all-out efforts for rescue operations and appointed State Council members to find out the cause of the incident as soon as possible, strengthening the investigation of safety hazards in civil aviation, and ensuring the absolute safety of aviation operations and people’s lives.
The CAAC and China Eastern Airlines have activated emergency mechanisms and sent working teams to the scene, and the airline has opened a special line for emergency assistance to family members, according to a statement on its Weibo account.
After the plane crash, the Wuzhou fire rescue team immediately dispatched 23 fire trucks and 117 rescuers, and the first batch has already arrived at the site.
A total of 538 rescue workers from Nanning, Liuzhou, Guilin, Beihai, Yulin, Hezhou, Laibin and Hechi of Guangxi have been sent to the scene to reinforce the rescue effort.
The precise cause of the incident remains undetermined.
China Eastern Airlines grounded all its Boeing 737-800 aircraft after the crash, according to company officials.
Boeing shares slid 7.8 per cent in premarket trading.