A China Eastern Airlines flight carrying 132 people, including nine crew members, crashed into a mountainside in China’s southern province, Guangxi, on Monday.
Flight MU5735 departed the southwestern city of Kunming in Yunnan at 1:11 p.m. and was due to land in Guangzhou at 3:05 p.m.
According to data from air traffic tracking website FlightRadar24, the aircraft, a Boeing 737-800, took a dramatic plunge just over an hour into the journey. The aircraft had been cruising at an altitude of 29,100 feet, and just under two minutes later it had plummeted to 7,425 feet. Its last tracked altitude before the collision was 3,225 feet.
Images circulating on social media show flames and smoke billowing from the mountainside, burning through the forest of Guangxi. There was no immediate information on survivors. A rescue mission is underway, but local media reported that rescue workers have found no sign of survivors so far.
The Boeing 737 flight lost contact over Wuzhou city in the Guangxi region, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) said in a statement.
"At present, it has been confirmed that this flight has crashed," the CAAC said, adding that it has activated its emergency response and dispatched personnel to the scene.
According to local reports, police received emergency calls from residents in the area alerting them to the crash by 2:30 p.m.
China’s airline safety record industry has been among the best in the world over the past decade. According to the Aviation Safety Network, China’s last major fatal jet accident was back in 2010, when 44 of 96 people on board were killed after an Embraer E-190 regional jet crashed on approach to Yichun airport.
State-affiliated media reported that China Eastern Airlines has halted all of its Boeing 737-800 flights in the immediate aftermath of the crash on Monday and created a hotline for passengers’ families.