News Chinese airliner with 132 people aboard crashes in Guangxi
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Chinese airliner with 132 people aboard crashes in Guangxi

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Footage has emerged of the moment a China Eastern Boeing 737-800 with 132 people on board plummeted from the sky and crashed into mountains.

Reports from the scene of the crash in southern China suggest there were no signs of survivors.

Chinese media showed brief highway video footage from a vehicle’s dashcam apparently showing a jet diving to the ground behind trees at an angle of about 35 degrees off vertical.

The plane descended at 31,000 feet (9.4 kilometres) a minute, according to flight tracking website FlightRadar24.

The airline, China Eastern, said it had provided a hotline for relatives of those on board and sent a working group to the site.

There were no foreigners on the flight, Chinese state television reported.

The plane was en route from the southwestern city of Kunming, capital of Yunnan province, to Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong, bordering Hong Kong, when it crashed.

The Civil Aviation Administration of China said in a statement the crash occurred near the city of Wuzhou in Teng county.

The plane was carrying 123 passengers and nine crew members, the CAAC said.

Chinese President Xi Jinping called for an “all-out effort” to be made in the rescue operation, for post-crash arrangements to be handled appropriately and potential safety hazards investigated to ensure complete civil aviation flight safety.

The CAAC said it had sent a team of officials, and the Guangxi fire service said work was under way to control a mountainside blaze ignited by the crash.

Satellite data from NASA showed a massive fire just in the area of where the plane went down at the time of the crash.

State media said local police first received calls from villagers alerting them about the crash about 2.30pm on Monday.

Guangxi provincial emergency management department said contact with the plane was lost at 2.15pm.

Chicago-based Boeing Co. said it was aware of the initial reports of the crash and was “working to gather more information.”

Boeing stock dropped over 8 per cent in pre-market trading early on Monday.

Shanghai-based China Eastern is one of China’s top three airlines, operating scores of domestic and international routes serving 248 destinations.

The aircraft was delivered to China Eastern from Boeing in June 2015 and had been flying for more than six years.

China Eastern operates multiple versions of the common aircraft, including the 737-800 and the 737 Max.

The deadliest crash involving a Boeing 737-800 came in January 2020, when Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard accidentally shot down a Ukraine International Airlines flight, killing all 176 people on board.

The 737 Max version was grounded worldwide after two fatal crashes.

China’s aviation regulator cleared that plane to return to service late last year, making the country the last major market to do so.

China’s last deadly crash of a civilian jetliner was in 2010.

-with AAP