china plane crash live boeing 737 fleet grounded after plane goes down and all onboard feared dead - China plane crash – live: Boeing 737 fleet ‘grounded’ after plane goes down and all onboard feared dead

Emergency services start rescue mission after passenger plane crashes in south China

A Chinese airline grounded its entire Boeing 737-800 fleet on Monday after a passenger plane carrying 132 people went down, with officials said to be concerned all those onboard have died.

FlightRadar24, the Swedish tracking site, said the China Eastern jet involved in the accident was six years old. It added that the airline had 109 such planes, all of which are temporarily banned from flying, according to state media.

The crash – China’s worst air disaster in almost a decade – saw the plane crash in a mountainous region in southern China. Smoke could be seen rising from hills near the city of Wuzhou, in Teng county, in the province of Guangxi, after the Boeing 737 plummeted 30,000ft in two minutes. There were 123 passengers and nine crew members onboard.

More than 12 hours after communication was lost with the plane, there was still no word of survivors on Monday night. The People’s Daily newspaper reported earlier that a firefighter had said there was no sign of life among the scattered debris.

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In images: Plane crash rocks China as relatives await information

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In this photo taken by a mobile phone, and released by the Xinhua News Agency, a piece of wreckage of China Eastern’s MU5735 flight are seen after it crashed on the mountain in Tengxian County

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In this photo taken by a mobile phone, and released by the Xinhua News Agency, a piece of wreckage of China Eastern’s MU5735 flight are seen after it crashed on the mountain in Tengxian County

(AP)

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People talk to at Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport staff before entering the area where relatives of the passengers wait for news

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People talk to at Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport staff before entering the area where relatives of the passengers wait for news

(Reuters)

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Police officers stand guard at the entrance of a village leading to the wreckage

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Police officers stand guard at the entrance of a village leading to the wreckage

(AFP via Getty Images)

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A screengrab of smoke billowing above a bamboo forest after a China Eastern Airlines passenger flight crashed with 132 people aboard

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A screengrab of smoke billowing above a bamboo forest after a China Eastern Airlines passenger flight crashed with 132 people aboard

(Viral Press/Twitter)

Sam Hancock21 March 2022 21:06

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China Eastern Airlines officials arrive in Wuzhou

A so-called “working group” from China Eastern Airlines has arrived in Wuzhou City, near where a Boeing 737 jet crashed on Monday, according to state-run channel CGTN.

It is thought the officials are in the area as part of the investigation into what happened.

Whether they will assist rescue workers with their operation was not known.

Sam Hancock21 March 2022 20:42

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Watch: Emergency services start rescue mission in south China

Emergency services start rescue mission after passenger plane crashes in south China

Sam Hancock21 March 2022 20:26

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China grounds entire Boeing 737 fleet after crash, state media reports

Earlier, we reported that China had grounded its 737-800 fleet, which according to FlightRadar is made up of 109 such planes.

It came after a China Eastern Boeing passenger plane, with 132 people onboard, crashed in a remote mountainous area of southern China.

More than 12 hours after the crash, there is still no word of survivors.

FlightRadar24, the Swedish tracking site, said the jet involved in the accident is six years old.

The 737-800 is a predecessor to the Boeing’s 737 MAX, which awaits regulatory approval in China, the world’s largest domestic aviation market.

It has a maximum seating capacity of 189 and is equipped with a CFM-56 engine, according to Boeing’s website.

Rescue workers are reportedly still at the site near the city of Wuzhou, in Teng county, in the southern province of Guangxi.

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Police officers stand guard at the entrance of a village leading to the site of a plane crash near Wuzhou

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Police officers stand guard at the entrance of a village leading to the site of a plane crash near Wuzhou

(AFP via Getty Images)

Sam Hancock21 March 2022 20:03

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‘It fell vertically from the sky’: Eyewitnesses recount plane crashing

Eyewitnesses have described the moment they saw a Boeing 737 plane crash into a mountainous region of southern China on Monday.

In an interview with state media outlet Beijing Youth Daily, one person described seeing a plane “falling directly from the sky” in front of him at around 2pm.

“The plane fell vertically from the sky. Although I was very far away, I could still see that it was a plane. The plane did not smoke during the fall. The fire started after it fell into the mountain, followed by a lot of smoke,” the witness, who was only identified by his surname, Liu, said.

“My heart was thumping,” he added.

In a separate interview with China News Service, a resident from Molang village in Tengxian county – close to the scene of the crash – claims to have seen “wings and pieces of the plane, as well as pieces of clothing hanging from trees” shortly after the incident.

The witness, whose name was not published, told state media he drove his motorcycle to the crash site after hearing “a huge explosion” at around 2.4pm to “see if he could participate in the rescue”. He added that he thought the accident caused around “10 acres of fire”.

Sam Hancock21 March 2022 19:30

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All 132 people onboard crashed plane feared dead

A China Eastern Airlines plane with 132 people on board crashed in southern China on Monday after a sudden descent from cruising altitude, and there was no sign of any survivors amid the wreckage in the mountains.

“We are aware of the initial media reports and are working to gather more information,” a Boeing spokesperson said afterwards.

Despite there still being no official death toll, officials in China have been quoted as telling local media there was “no sign of life” among the scattered debris.

Our reporter Chiara Giordano on today’s events:

Sam Hancock21 March 2022 19:07

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Watch: Video shows moment Chinese airliner nosedives before crashing in Guangxi

Video purportedly shows moment Chinese airliner nosedives before crashing in Guangxi

Sam Hancock21 March 2022 18:45

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China Eastern and Boeing 737: What are their safety records?

The authorities in China continue to say a passenger aircraft crashed southwest of the southern city of Wuzhou on Monday.

China Eastern, the airline involved, confirmed the news earlier.

Here’s our travel correspondent Simon Calder with everything we know so far about the tragedy:

Sam Hancock21 March 2022 18:11

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Watch: Fire rages after Boeing 737 jet ‘crashes into mountainside’ in China

Fire rages after Boeing 737 jet ‘crashes into mountainside’ in China

Sam Hancock21 March 2022 17:47

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In images: Rescue operation underway for crashed plane

China’s CGTN channel has been tweeting photographs of the crash site throughout the day.

In the state-run organisation’s latest post, rescue workers are reportedly pictured carrying out their operation to recovery any survivors or bodies from the crashed plane.

It comes after parts of the plane were captured and published online.

Sam Hancock21 March 2022 17:33