A China Eastern Airlines Boeing 737-800, carrying 123 passengers and 9 crew, has crashed in Guangxi in Southern China.
The six-year-old Boeing 737-800 aircraft, registered B-1791, was operating Flight MU5735 from Kunming to Guangzhou suddenly lost altitude at approximately 3:30pm local time; subsequently crashing into a hill. Social media posts show aircraft wreckage strewn across farmland, as well as a burnt-out forest where the plane crashed.
Update 02:00 UTC (22/03/2022)
Chinese state media confirmed no survivors have been found.
Recovery efforts are continuing, after the aircraft rapidly descended from a cruising altitude of 30,000 feet.
Update 15:00 UTC
China Eastern Airlines has grounded all Boeing 737-800 passenger jets following the crash of flight MU5735.
Update 10:55 UTC
Chinese aviation authorities have confirmed the incident, confirming the final number of occupants aboard the aircraft, and that it lost contact with air traffic control close to its crash location, triggering immediate rescue efforts.
China Eastern Airlines has since turned their entire website black-and-white, and also confirmed the horrific news.
Flight MU5735 was flying a domestic route from the city of Kunming to Guangzhou, and it reportedly crashed approximately halfway through the flight, near Tengxian, Guangxi.
Chinese state media earlier issued a statement, saying “a rescue team has assembled and is approaching. The situation with casualties remains unclear.” However, it is not clear if rescue crews have actually made it to the crash site in difficult mountainous terrain.
China’s last fatal commercial jet accident occurred in 2010, with 44 killed after an Embraer E-190 crashed on approach to Yichun.
We will continue to update here as more news emerges