"The plane looked to be in one piece when it nosedived. Within seconds, it crashed," said Chen Weihao, a villager who was working on a farm when he saw the plane.
A passenger plane with 132 people aboard crashed in south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region on Monday afternoon, the regional emergency management department said.
The China Eastern Airlines Boeing 737 aircraft, which departed from Kunming and was bound for Guangzhou, crashed into a mountainous area near the Molang village in Tengxian County in the city of Wuzhou at 2:38 p.m., causing a mountain fire. "I heard the roar of a plane on the other side of the hill. A second later, there was an explosion," a worker near the crash said.
There were 123 passengers and nine crew members aboard flight MU5735, the Civil Aviation Administration of China said, adding that it has initiated an emergency response mechanism and its working team has arrived in Wuzhou.
Villager Chen Weihao was working on a farm when he saw the plane nosedived. "The plane looked to be in one piece when it nosedived. Within seconds, it crashed," said Chen, adding that the crash site was a gap in a mountain where no residents lived.
One of the scariest thing online today? Been seeing everywhere that this is the footage of China Eastern Airlines flight #MU5735 a Boeing 737, nose diving into a forest in China. If this is real, then RIP to the poor souls in that plane�� #Boeing737pic.twitter.com/7mC8BixUMP— (Blvk Sheriff³³³) ������ (@ItsKingWanga) March 21, 2022
The Wuzhou fire brigade has sent 117 firefighters with 23 fire trucks to the site. A further 538 firefighters from other parts of Guangxi have been dispatched to join the rescue efforts. The neighboring Guangdong Province has dispatched 505 firefighters and 97 vehicles to aid the rescue operation, with the first group already at the scene.
"There is some plane wreckage in a gap in the mountain," a rescue worker at the crash site told Xinhua. "There are pieces of the wings, one of them about 2 or 3 meters. There is other debris, with some probably being pieces of clothing."
Villager Shi Fuxiong said he saw a large pit at the crash site and surrounding trees within dozens of meters had been leveled. "There were many pieces of small debris of the plane and baggage, but no large pieces of wreckage," he said.
China Eastern Airlines said that it has initiated an emergency response mechanism. It has established nine special working groups for aircraft disposal, accident investigation, family assistance, logistics support, legal support, public relations, security, financial insurance, and cargo disposal. The airline said the cause of the accident will be fully investigated.