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China’s President Xi Orders Probe Into Boeing 737 Plane Crash

China’s President Xi Orders Probe Into Boeing 737 Plane Crash

A plane carrying 132 people has crashed in southern China

President Xi said he is 'shocked' by the jet crash carrying 132 people in Southern China and called for the tragedy to be investigated.

The China Eastern Airlines Boeing 737-800 crashed in mountains near Wuzhou, Guangxi province after it was traveling from Kunming, Yunnan province in western China, to Guangzhou, Guangdong province.

State broadcaster CCTV, citing the Guangxi Emergency Management Department, reports that the 'accident' also resulted in a mountainside fire.

Rescue crews are also said to currently be working to reach the site of the crash.

The number of casualties is currently unknown.

China Eastern Airlines Boeing 737-800 pictured in 2019.

Xi Jinping has responded to the news and, as per CCTV, said: 'We are shocked to learn of the China Eastern MU5735 accident.'

He also called for 'all efforts' towards the rescue and to find out the 'cause of the accident as soon as possible'.

In a statement the Civil Aviation Administration of China confirmed that flight number MU5735 had crashed with nine crew members and 123 passengers on board.

'Accident protocols have been initiated and special units are going to the crash site,' the statement reads.

Footage taken from the scene shows smoke rising from the hillside where the plane is feared to have come down.

Other videos show flames spreading through the area.

Flight data recorded by Flightradar24 appeared to show the aircraft suddenly lose altitude at around 2.22pm local time (6.22am GMT).

The plane crashed roughly 40 minutes before it was due to land in Guangzhou.

The flight had departed from Kunming at around 1.15pm local time and had been in the air for just over an hour at the time of the incident.

The website of China Eastern Airlines is currently running in black-and-white, which is sometimes a gesture airlines use out of respect for victims in a plane crash.

China Eastern Airlines

Reuters reports that the last available data recorded the flight at an altitude of 3,225 feet with a speed of 376 knots.

The Boeing 737-800 is not the same model as the 737 MAX, which was grounded worldwide between March 2019 and November 2020 when a recurring failure resulted in two fatal accidents in the space of six months.

The Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, which occurred in November 2018 and March 2019 respectively, killed a total of 346 people and saw Boeing forced to pay $2.5 billion in penalties and compensation.

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Featured Image Credit: Alamy/WLVN Analysis/Twitter

Topics: China, World News