Although several hours after the disaster there is still no balance of the number of dead, China Eastern Airlines “paid tribute” to them in a statement.
Chinese President Xi Jinping said he was “shocked” and called for an investigation so that “the causes of the accident can be determined as soon as possible,” public television CCTV reported.
The Boeing 737 was flying from the city of Kunming to the metropolis of Guangzhou, but “lost contact when it was flying over the city of Wuzhou”, in the mountainous region of Guangxi, according to a statement from the CAAC.
FlightRadar24 flight tracker provided no further data for MU5735 after 2:22 p.m. local time, when it flew over Wuzhou.
The website shows how the plane had fallen sharply from an altitude of 8,900 meters to 1,000 in three minutes.
“At this time, it is confirmed that the flight crashed,” said the CAAC, which added a rescue team was dispatched to the scene.
The plane was carrying 123 passengers and 9 crew members, a total of 132 people, although Chinese media had mentioned 133 people on board.
The Boeing 737 reportedly crashed in a rural area near that city, “starting a fire,” a reporter on Chinese television CCTV said, citing the local emergency coordination office.
“All the residents took the initiative to help in the rescue and went to the mountain,” a shopkeeper, Tang Min, who lives about four kilometers from the crash site.
Another resident of the area told a local news website that the plane involved in the accident had been “completely destroyed” and that he had seen nearby forest areas destroyed by fire caused by the plane crashing into the mountainside. .
From the United States, Boeing, manufacturer of the device, said it was trying to “gather more information”.
According to financial outlet Yicai, China Eastern decided to suspend all its. 737-800 from Tuesday, without waiting to know the results of the investigation.
The last major plane crash in China was in August 2010, with an unconfirmed balance of 42 victims. It was the latest accident involving a Chinese commercial passenger flight to cause civilian casualties.
The deadliest Chinese commercial flight accident was a China Northwest Airlines crash in 1994 in which all 160 people on board died.
Most of the passengers aboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, which disappeared in March 2014 a route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, were from China.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.