A Boeing 737-800 operated by China Eastern Airlines with over 130 people on board crashed into a mountain on Monday, according to Chinese state media outlet CGTN. There’s no word on casualties yet but horrifying video obtained by the Associated Press shows a plane going down vertically into the mountain.
The flight, MU5735, was traveling from Kunming, China to the city of Guanghzou, departing at 1:11 p.m. local time, according to FlightRadar24. Roughly an hour after takeoff, the flight disappeared off radar in the Guangxi region and crashed near the city of Wuzhou.
The flight had 123 passengers and nine crew members, according to CGTN and confirmed by the China Aviation Commission.
“The cause of the plane crash is still under investigation. The company expresses its sorrowful condolences to the passengers and crew members who died in this plane crash,” China Eastern Airlines said in a statement. The airline changed its website to a black-and-white version as a show on mournfulness, according to the CGTN.
Boeing said it was “aware of the initial media reports and working to gather more information.”
Chinese state TV detailed president Xi Jingping’s response to the crash: “After the accident, President Xi Jinping immediately made instructions to start the emergency mechanism, organize search and rescue, and properly deal with the aftermath.”
Chinese state media reports at least 23 fire trucks and 117 rescuers have been dispatched from the immediate area with hundreds more from surrounding areas on the way, but it’s not immediately clear what the situation on the ground looks like. Local officials report that fires seen from a distance have been extinguished, according to CGTN.
Boeing has previously seen difficulty with its 737 Max planes, which were implicated in horrific crashes that killed 346 people in Indonesia and Ethiopia. Subsequent investigations revealed that Boeing had known of the plane’s issues and attempted to cover them up, cutting corners on safety precautions to save money. The 737 Max was recently declared safe again by the FAA. The five-year-old plane that crashed in China today was not one of the controversial Max planes.