China: Plane crashes in Guangxi province
Following the tragic incident, China Eastern Airlines has grounded all 737-800 planes, local media reported.
Chinese authorities have reported, on Monday, that a Chinese plane carrying 132 people crashes in Guangxi Province and started a fire on the mountainside.
The Boeing 737-800 of China Eastern Airlines crashed near Wuzhou in Teng County, Guangxi province.
It took off from Kunming at 1 pm but did not arrive in Guangzhou as planned. Flight tracking data shows the plane leaving the radar signal to the south-west of Wuzhou shortly before 2.30 p.m. local time.
Furthermore, the authorities suggest that the plane plummeted quickly, losing more than 8,800 meters of altitude in a matter of minutes.
The Civil Aviation Administration stated that emergency procedures had been activated and that a working group had been dispatched to the scene.
Meanwhile, rescuers had been dispatched, according to state broadcasters, but there were no immediate reports of casualties.
It is worth mentioning that 123 passengers and nine crew members were reportedly on board.
Footage circulating online and published by the People's Daily, the official state media outlet, shows a plume of smoke rising from a mountainous region.
The Boeing 737 crashed in a mountainous area in southern China causing mountain fire, and there are fears no one survived. pic.twitter.com/4tOWCBV7Lk— Alℹ (@AlexKenya_) March 21, 2022
Other footage shows intense flames in a circular area, and another appears to show plane wreckage with the name "China Eastern Airline" visible.
23 firetrucks and 117 personnel were dispatched to the scene. As reinforcements, another 538 personnel had been ordered in from surrounding detachments, according to the Wuzhou Fire-Rescue Department.
Local media added that firefighters were unable to reach the site by road and had to walk a portion of the way into the forested area.
China's President Xi Jinping has called for an immediate investigation into the cause of the crash, the country's first major fatal air disaster since 2010.
Flight data trackers revealed that the plane is a six-year-old Boeing 737-89P.
It is worth mentioning that Boeing 737-800s are among the most common passenger planes in the world, as opposed to the 737 Max, which has been grounded worldwide following two fatal crashes in 2018 and 2019. According to state media, China Eastern Airlines has grounded all 737-800 planes.