Chinese passenger plane crashes with 132 passengers on-board

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A Chinese passenger plane with 132 people on-board today crashed in the country’s mountainous southern Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, Chinese authorities and international media reported.

“The Boeing 737 aircraft of China Eastern Airlines, which took off from Kunming and was bound for Guangzhou, crashed in Tengxian County in the city of Wuzhou, causing a mountain fire,” state-run Xinhua news agency said quoting China’s regional emergency management department.

It said the accident occurred on Monday afternoon while the Aviation Administration of China on its website said the aircraft was carrying 132 people, 123 of them being passengers and rest were crew members.

The administration said it initiated an “emergency response mechanism and dispatched a working team to the site” and the rescue operation was underway with the Wuzhou fire brigade sending 117 firefighters with23 fire trucks to the site.

“Further 538 firefighters from other parts of Guangxi have been dispatched to join in the rescue efforts,” the regional fire department said at its Weibo account.

The BBC, meanwhile, said the China Eastern Airlines Boeing 737 was flying from Kunming to Guangzhou when it came down in hills in Guangxi province and caught fire.

“It is feared there are no survivors, but the number of casualties – and reason for the crash are not yet known,” the BBC report read.

Videos widely shared on social media that appear to be taken by locals showed that plane debris strewn around the hills, and a fiery blaze and smoke billowing from the crash site and the Chinese state media shared those footages as well.

The footage posted online show plumes of smoke billowing from a mountainous, forested area and what appears to be wreckage from the plane on a muddy, mountain path.

Chinese airlines generally have a good safety record while the last major accident took place 12 years ago when a flight from Harbin crashed in Yichun killing 42 people.