A China Eastern Airlines Boeing 737-800 with 132 people on board fell mid-flight and crashed in a hilly area of southern China on Monday, the crash caused a mountain fire in the region. According to reports from Chinese state media, there were no survivors of the crash and the passengers on-board were all Chinese residents and no foreigners were on the flight.
China Eastern Airline Crash
Flight MU5735 departed Kunming at 1:11 P.M local time and was scheduled to arrive in Guangzhou, China’s southeast, in less than two hours. According to the reports, the flight had already travelled 500 miles before the unusual crash.
The Jet was flying at 29,000 feet when it suddenly started losing altitude at 2:20 P.M, the flight recovered about 1000 feet before losing contact and plummeted straight to the ground 25,000 feet in the next 90 seconds.
“This kind of tragedy is extremely unusual,” Richard Aboulafia, a managing director at AeroDynamic Advisory said. Investigators will try to recover “Black boxes,” which contain cockpit voice recordings and flight data. They’ll look at the plane’s previous trips, maintenance history, weather data, and pilot health as well.
According to the Aviation Safety Network database, if all 123 passengers and nine crew members are confirmed killed, it will be China’s deadliest aircraft crash since 1994 and the deadliest ever for China Eastern Airlines.
China Eastern Airlines issued a statement on Weibo, China’s version of Twitter, confirming the incident and the number of persons on board. The airline said it is dispatching personnel to the disaster site and has established a hotline for family members.