A Boeing 737 was on its way from the southwestern city of Kunming to Guangzhou when it lost contact with Wuzhou. There were 123 passengers and 9 crew members on board Members, the Civil Aviation Authority said in a statement posted online.
China Eastern Airlines later confirmed those details and the number of people on board the plane at the time of the crash.
China Eastern Airlines continued to activate the emergency mechanism, sent a working group to the scene of the accident, and opened a special emergency help line for family members, the company continued in a statement on its Weibo account.
State media reported that Chinese President Xi Jinping instructed the country’s emergency services to “organize a search and rescue operation” and “identify the causes of the accident.”
“After the accident, President Xi Jinping instructed to immediately start the emergency mechanism, organize search and rescue and properly deal with its repercussions,” CCTV said.
CCTV channel reported earlier that rescue teams are on their way to the scene of the accident, as a fire broke out at the site, but the victims are unknown. Initial reports by state media indicated that there were 133 people on board.
The footage, posted online and shared by the People’s Daily, shows plumes of smoke rising from a mountainous forested area. Another clip shows what appears to be wreckage from the plane on a muddy mountain road.
The colors on the Boeing and China Eastern Airlines websites have been changed to black and white in China, as a sign of respect for the response to the incident.
This is an evolving story. More is coming.
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