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State media: No survivors found in China plane crash

China Plane Crash Guangxi
Posted at 4:06 AM, Mar 21, 2022

BEIJING — No survivors have been found in the scattered wreckage of a China Eastern plane that was carrying 132 people when it crashed Monday.

State broadcaster CCTV said “none of those aboard the plane with whom contact was lost have been found.”

The Boeing 737-800 crashed Monday afternoon near Wuzhou in the Guangxi region and ignited a fire.

The plane was about an hour into the flight when it pitched downward in a steep, fast dive.

The flight was traveling from Kunming in the western province of Yunnan to the industrial center of Guangzhou along the east coast, according to the Civil Aviation Administration of China.

The plane was carrying 123 passengers and nine crew members, the CAAC said, correcting earlier reports that 133 people had been on board.

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.

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

State media said local police first received calls from villagers alerting the crash around 2:30 p.m. local time (2:30 a.m. ET). Guangxi provincial emergency management department said contact with the plane was lost at 2:15 p.m.

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% in pre-market trading early Monday. The aircraft was delivered to China Eastern from Boeing in June 2015 and had been flying for more than six years.

Boeing began delivering the 737-800 to customers in 1997 and delivered the last of the series to China Eastern in 2020. It made over 5,200 of the narrow-body aircraft, a popular, single-aisle commuter plane.

The twin-engine, single-aisle Boeing 737 is one of the world’s most popular planes for short and medium-haul flights. 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.