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A plane carrying more than 130 people has crashed into a mountainous region in China, said state-owned broadcaster CCTV.
The China Eastern Airlines Boeing 737-800 was flying from Kunming, Yunnan province in western China, to Guangzhou, Guandong province, when it suffered an 'accident' near Wuzhou, Guangxi province.
FATIII Aviation, a leading air travel informer in China, confirmed that 132 passengers were onboard when the incident unfolded, although it is currently unknown how many casualties there are.
A China Eastern Airlines Boeing 737-800 operating flight MU5735 has reportedly crashed near Wuzhou in southern China. Initial reports say 133 onboard.pic.twitter.com/iipgQYGkhK— WLVN Analysis🔍 (@TheLegateIN) March 21, 2022
A rescue team is said to be on its way to the scene of the accident, where footage shows smoke rising from the mountainside.
In a tweet shared today (21 March), FATIII Aviation said: "CAAC has issued a statement regarding the crash. It confirms the flight MU5735 has crashed and there are total 132 souls on board. 9 crew and 123 members.
"CAAC has initiated its protocols and special units are going to the crash site."
Flight data recorded by Flightradar24 reports that the aircraft suddenly lost altitude at 2:22pm local time, roughly 40 minutes before it was due to land in Guangzhou.
CAAC has issued an statement regarding the crash. It confirms the flight MU5735 has crashed and there are total 132 souls on board. 9 crew and 123 members.— FATIII Aviation (@FATIIIAviation) March 21, 2022
CAAC has initiated its protocols and special units are going to the crash site. pic.twitter.com/16Os4BJnno
Independent agency WLVN Analysis shared a clip of smoke emerging from the scene, alongside the text: "A China Eastern Airlines Boeing 737-800 operating flight MU5735 has reportedly crashed near Wuzhou in southern China."
Airlines in China have a comparatively high safety record, with the country's last fatal jet accident occurring back in 2010.
According to analysis by market research firm Statista, there were 76 fatal civil airliner accidents from 1945 through February 2022 in China. Over the same time period, there were 864 cases in the US, 539 in Russia and 191 in Canada.
The Boeing 737-800 is not to be confused with the Boeing MAX 737 model, which came under the spotlight in the recent Netflix documentary Downfall: The Case Against Boeing.
The film delves into the the ‘negligence and corporate greed' behind the two high-profile Boeing MAX 737 crashes – one in October 2018 that saw a Lion Air flight plummet into the Java Sea, killing 189 passengers and crew, and a second that followed just five months later in Ethiopia, killing 157.
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