A China Eastern Airlines plane carrying 132 people on board has crashed in Guangxi province, China’s Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) says.
It is feared there are no survivors, but the number of casualties – and reason for the crash are not yet known.
The crash of the Boeing 737 jet, in a mountainous region, led to a fire in the woods, state media is reporting.
“Can confirm the plane has crashed,” China Eastern Airlines said in a statement in which it also gave details of a hotline for relatives of those on board.
The CAAC said the aircraft lost contact over the city of Wuzhou. It had 123 passengers and nine crew on board. State media said earlier there were 133 people on board.
“The CAAC has activated the emergency mechanism and sent a working group to the scene,” it said in a statement.
Flight MU5735 was scheduled to leave Kunming at 1.15pm local time and was en route to Guangzhou.
The plane had crashed near Teng county in Wuzhou province. Guangxi is a southern province neighbouring Guangzhou, a major city in the south-east.
Flight tracking sites report the plane was in the air for just over an hour, and was nearing its destination when it went down in Wuzhou.
According to FlightRadar24 data, the last sourced information on the flight showed it ended at 2.22pm local time, at an altitude of 3225 feet.
The plane was a six-year-old 737-800 aircraft, according to Flightradar24.
The website of China Eastern Airlines was later presented in black and white, which airlines do in response to a crash as a sign of respect for the assumed victims.
The safety record of China’s airline industry has been among the best in the world over the past decade.
According to Aviation Safety Network, China’s last fatal jet accident was in 2010, when 44 of 96 people on board were killed when an Embraer E-190 regional jet flown by Henan Airlines crashed on approach to Yichun airport in low visibility.
In 1992, a China Southern 737-300 jet flying from Guangzhou to Guilin crashed on descent, killing all 141 people on board, according to Aviation Safety Network.
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