Commercial Airplane Crashes With 132 On Board

A Boeing 737-800 passenger plane operated by China Eastern Airlines with 132 people on board crashed on Monday in Guangxi, China.

Nine crew members and 123 passengers were on board flight No. 5735, which had been travelling from Kunming to Guangzhou, the Civil Aviation Administration of China said.

Rescue teams were searching for survivors at the site of the crash, in a mountainous area of Teng County, Wuzhou, Guangxi. The local fire department was organizing a crew of about 650 rescue workers.

The crash reportedly started a fire, which has since been extinguished. Video and photos on China’s CCTV state media showed a large cloud of smoke rising above the treeline.

President Xi Jinping called for an “all-out effort” to be made in the rescue operation.

The cause of the crash was not immediately clear. The aircraft had been in service since 2015.

“We are aware of the initial media reports and are working to gather more information,” Boeing said in a statement.

The Chinese government is expected to lead an investigation into the crash. The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board would provide help, if requested, with support from the Federal Aviation Administration.

“The FAA is aware of reports that a China Eastern Airlines Boeing 737-800 plane crashed this morning in China,” FAA officials said in a statement. “The agency is ready to assist in investigation efforts if asked.”

China’s airlines had more than 100 million hours of safe flight as of Feb. 19, a CAA official told The South China Morning Post on Monday.

The last domestic crash was in 2010, when a plane crashed in Yichun, Heilongjiang province, killing 42.

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