Beijing: China Eastern passenger jet carrying 133 people has crashed in southwest China with an unknown number of casualties, state broadcaster CCTV reported today. The Boeing 737 plane crashed near Wuzhou city, Guangxi region and “caused a mountain fire”, CCTV said, adding that rescue teams were dispatched to the scene.
It is unknown how many casualties there are but rescue is said to be on its way to the mountainous region. The Guangxi Emergency Management Department said in a statement: “A Boeing 737 passenger plane carrying 133 people from China Eastern Airlines crashed in Teng County, Wuzhou, Guangxi, and caused a mountain fire.
“At present, rescue teams have assembled and approached, and the casualties are unknown.” A video shared online showed white smoke billowing from between trees.
Other footage showed the area ablaze with flames. Images shared on Twitter claimed to be of large pieces of the plane’s fuselage discovered in the area by locals.
The Aviation Safety Network tweeted: “We are following multiple unconfirmed reports about a possible accident involving China Eastern Airlines flight #MU5735 a Boeing 737-89P (B-1791) en route from Kunming to Guanghzou, China.”
Flight data claimed to be from the flight shows the plane dropped thousands of feet to the ground in just minutes, giving the crew little time to react to whatever the issue was. MU5735 departed from Kunming to Guangzhou departed at 1.11 pm local time according to FlightRadar24 data.
The flight tracking ended at 2.22 pm (0622 GMT) at an altitude of 3,225 feet with a speed of 376 knots. It had been due to land an hour later.