The New York Times reports the flight crashed around 2:20 p.m. China Standard Time, just over one hour after its departure from Kunming Changshui International Airport (KMG), heading for Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport (CAN).
All 123 Passengers, Nine Crew Feared to be Dead
Little is known about how or why the Boeing 737-800 plummeted out of the sky. The airframe was delivered new to the carrier from Boeing on June 25, 2015, with no known safety issues at the time. The aircraft was unique for being the first China Eastern aircraft in the airline’s Yunnan Peacock livery, as seen above.
According to data from FlightRadar24.com, the flight reached an altitude of 29,100 feet before plummeting nearly straight down near the town of Wuzhou. It is believed that all 132 souls aboard the flight – 123 passengers and nine crew members – were killed, as no survivors have been found after extensive search-and-rescue efforts in the area.
Video posted to the Chinese social media site Weibo and confirmed by The New York Times shows what appears to be an airplane flying vertically into the ground, as caught by a surveillance camera. Video and photos shared by Chinese state-run media outlet Xinhua shows debris recovered from the crash site, as well as tents set up for rescue workers to operate.
— China Xinhua News (@XHNews) March 21, 2022
Since the accident, the airline has not publicly commented on the incident to any English-speaking social media channels, including their Facebook or Twitter page. Both accounts, along with their U.S. website, have been changed to grayscale, as is customary after a fatal accident. Boeing has pledged their support for the investigation, stating on Twitter they are prepared to work with the airline and the Civil Aviation Administration of China.
Our thoughts are with the passengers and crew of China Eastern Airlines Flight MU 5735. We are working with our airline customer and are ready to support them.
— Boeing Airplanes (@BoeingAirplanes) March 21, 2022
Accident First Fatal Crash for a Chinese Carrier in Over 11 Years
The crash of China Eastern Airlines Flight 5735 is the first fatal accident involving a Chinese carrier since 2010, and the first worldwide fatality involving a Boeing 737-800 since 2020. The last Chinese aviation crash resulting in death was Henan Airlines Flight 8387, a Embraer E190 which crashed after the pilots did not observe low visibility safety protocol. AS a result, 44 people died in the accident.
The last crash involving a Boeing 737-800 took place in 2020, when Air India Express Flight 1344 overran the landing runway in rainy conditions. A total of 20 people were killed in the incident.
Feature image courtesy: Alec Wilson/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0
Source: frugal travel guy