The China Eastern Airlines Boeing 737-800 was flying from Kunming to Guangzhou when it plunged to earth in Guangxi province and caught fire.
The number of casualties and the reasons for the crash are not yet known. Rescuers have seen no signs of survivors.
Chinese airlines generally have a good safety record – the last major accident took place 12 years ago.
Pictures from the scene of a #Boeing 737 crash in south #China.— CGTN (@CGTNOfficial) March 21, 2022
latest: https://t.co/otZytipiEw pic.twitter.com/IBFrkJDsK3
The crash has caused shock in China, where President Xi Jinping has ordered an immediate investigation to determine the cause. China Eastern Airlines has grounded all its 737-800s.
Flight tracking data suggested the plane lost height rapidly from its cruising altitude before plummeting to the ground.
More than 600 emergency responders are said to be at the crash site. Firefighters reached the scene first and managed to extinguish a blaze in the hills caused by the crash.
Footage taken by local villagers and shared on Chinese social media – and by state broadcasters – showed fire and smoke from the crash, with plane debris on the ground.
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