A Boeing-737 with 132 people on board crashed in southern China on Monday after plummeting 8,000 meters in what could be the country’s deadliest plane crash since 1994.
An accurate assessment of casualties had not been released Monday night in Beijing after the crash of a plane carrying 132 people in South China. But looking at the crash data, it seemed unlikely anyone would make it out alive.
Research still in progress
As shown in the pictures transmitted by BFM TVRescuers are still braving rain Tuesday as they search for the 132 people aboard the Boeing-737 that crashed in a mountainous area of southern China after falling just minutes.
The causes of the disaster remain unknown, more than 24 hours after China Eastern Airlines flight MU5735 descended almost vertically. Videos broadcast by public media showed images showing a kind of clearing formed by the device in a wooded area, with little recognizable debris, apart from a piece of the wing with the company’s blue and red logo. Rescuers have deployed drones to aid in the search, but the search is complicated by the rugged terrain and dense vegetation around the crash site.
A difficult balance to establish?
On Monday night, the company presented its tributes to the “dead” of the disaster, without advancing for the moment to give a human assessment. The device linked the major Chinese cities of Kunming (southwest) and Guangzhou (south). A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said Tuesday that the passengers are believed to be all Chinese citizens.
The bodies and personal belongings of the passengers were probably “totally burned” by the explosion of the aircraft on the ground, followed by a fire, a rescuer who spent the night at the scene told AFP. CCTV public television broadcast footage on Tuesday of rescuers in uniforms or white coats, carrying stretchers and backpacks, struggling on the hills around the accident.
“Very unusual” flight data
According to the specialized site FlightRadar24, the device lost almost 21,250 feet (6,477 meters) in just one minute before disappearing from radar screens. Then, after a brief ascent, it plunged back down, 4,625 feet (1,410 meters), according to the plotter, to be 3,225 feet (983 meters) above the ground. There is no data for the flight after 2:22 p.m. on Monday.
A video released by Chinese media shows a plane with its nose down vertically, but AFP was unable to verify its authenticity. Jean-Paul Troadec, former director of the Research and Analysis Office for Air Safety in France, said the flight data was “very unusual”.
At the Guangzhou airport, the staff took care of the families of the passengers and crew members. About 70 psychologists were also sent for support, according to the China News Service. The accident could become the deadliest for Chinese civil aviation since 1994. The last air disaster dates back to 2010, with a balance of around forty dead. Unusually, President Xi Jinping reacted vehemently on Monday night, calling for “the causes of the accident to be determined as soon as possible,” which are currently unknown.