China’s aviation authority said Monday that a China Eastern Airlines Boeing 737 passenger plane crashed with 132 people on board, including 123 passengers and nine crew members.
Contact was lost with the flight over Wuzhou, in the Guangxi region, the authority said. The Flight was also scheduled to fly from Kunming to Guangzhou in the southeast of the country.
The Civil Aviation Administration said it had “activated the emergency mechanism and dispatched a working group to the scene,” according to a translation.
Chinese state media said the crash had caused a mountain fire.
The crash site was located at Molang Village, Langnan Town in Tengxian County, Wuzhou City in south China‘s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, according to the local emergency department.
China Eastern Airlines confirmed the crash and the number of people on board via a statement on Weibo, China’s version of Twitter.
The airline also cancelled all flights on the company’s Boeing 737-800 aircraft.
The airline said it is sending workers to the site of the crash and has since opened a hotline for the assistance of the flight’s relatives.
The crash is one of China’s worst air disasters in two decades, following a succession of fatal crashes in the 1990s.
During this time, the country markedly improved its safety record. Therefore it became one of the safest regions in the world, thanks to constant fleet renewal and tighter controls.
The last accident of similar magnitude was in 2012 when a Henan Airlines Embraer E190 crashed on approach to Yichun Lindu airport, killing forty-four people.
Boeing and China Eastern shares have plummeted by 7% and 10% respectively.