China Eastern 737 Crashes Into Mountain – 132 Confirmed Dead

On Monday 21st March 2022, a China Eastern Airlines Boeing 737-800 crashed into a mountain range in southern China. The flight, MU5735 originated from Kunming and was flying domestically for 2 hours with an intended destination of Guangzhou Baiyun Intl Airport and had been in operation with China Eastern for 6 years. Contact with the plane was lost over the city of Wuzhou said the airline and the Chinese Civil Aviation Administration they also added that on board were 9 crew members and 123 passengers. China’s President- Xi Jinping ordered an “all-out” rescue effort, rescuers were dispatched to the crash site in the southern region of Guangxi while the airline and the aviation administration said that they sent out working groups to the scene.

The China Eastern 737-800 that crashed, photo taken in 2015
(Credit: BBC)

MU 5735 left Kunming at 1:11 PM with a scheduled arrival time of fewer than 2 hours later and according to FlightRadar24, the aircraft lost altitude rapidly while cruising just over an hour into the flight, descending from 29,000 feet in a matter of minutes to its last tracked position. After the crash, a mountainside fire sparked by the crash burned down bamboo plants and trees, satellite data from NASA showed a large fire in the area where the plane went down.

China Eastern Airlines has launched an emergency hotline for the families and friends of those on board. The last deadly crash of a civilian airliner in China was when a Henan Airlines flight 8387 E190 crashed, killing 44 out of the 96 people on board. “We are deeply saddened by the tragic news of China Eastern flight MU5735”, a spokesperson for CFM (the plane’s engine maker) said in a statement. “We extend our heartfelt sympathies to the families and the loved ones of those on board”. Boeing which is based in Chicago and the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) said that they were aware of the initial media reports about the crash and were working to gather more information. In a statement, the FAA said “The agency is ready to assist in investigation efforts if asked.” In addition to this, the NTSB said via a tweet that they were monitoring the crash. China Eastern Airlines has said that they have grounded all their 737-800 airplanes. CCTV footage captured the plane supposedly heading towards the ground vertically. My thoughts are with the families of all those caught up in this tragedy and the search and rescue teams currently responding,” British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a tweet.

An infographic showing the flight path before disaster
(Credit: Daily Mail)


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