China Eastern plane crashed on Monday afternoon in the Guangxi region of Southern China. It was a Boeing 737-800 jet, which was operated by China Eastern Airlines.
According to reports, 132 people were on board — 123 passengers and nine crew members. Some media outlets presume that they are all dead. However, there is no word on the number of casualties from official sources.
There were no foreigners on the plane. Search for survivors is still underway. Firefighters and paramilitary troops joined forces Tuesday for the challenging mission.
Families of crew members and passengers are now looking for answers. While many experts are trying to explain disaster, it may take weeks before a clear picture of what happened emerges.
This is the first commercial plane crash in 12 years
China is under shock after the communist nation recorded its first crash involving a commercial jet since 2010.
At the time, a Henan Airlines plane crashed in northeast China. It was carrying 96 people, and 44 of them were killed during the crash of the Embraer E-190 regional jet.
Flight MU5735 was headed to Guangzhou when it went down in under two minutes. The plane was coming from Kunming. A large fire, that was visible from space, was witnessed at the crash site.
An official has claimed that the plane has completely disintegrated.
President Xi Jinping has said that he was “shocked” by the tragic incident. The leader has asked for a deep investigation.
Chinese officials are determined to find the reasons behind the crash while also focusing on the rescue mission.
Boeing has put out a statement signaling that the company will be involved in the investigation.
Experts say the crash is the result of a “loss of control event”
While the official investigation is mostly under wraps, outside experts are still chiming in. Most commentators do not think sabotage was at play because of the travel restrictions put in place to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Some have also said that the crash was probably not engine-related. Aircraft can even fly without an engine for a little while.
The aircraft lost contact at 2:15 p.m. before beginning the sudden descent. Witnesses reported that the fire only started after the plane hit the mountain.
Bad weather in the area will complicate the rescue mission and investigation for now. There is ongoing speculation about the causes of the crash, but officials are putting the focus on the rescue.
One thing is clear, Boeing’s path in China has become steeper this week.
Boeing faces new scrutiny in China
The crash comes when Boeing is trying to put itself on better footing. The pandemic has done some damage to its overall standing.
Moreover, the company also had to deal with the aftermath of crashes involving the 737 MAX model. This renewed scrutiny is probably going to slow down the rebound.
The Chicago-based company has lost $5 billion in market capitalization following China’s decision to ground its entire fleet of 737-800 jets.
Boeing cannot afford not to be competitive in the Chinese market. However, a new rebound might take some time
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