State media report crash of Chinese airliner with 133 aboard

AP file photo
Residents watch as a China Eastern passenger jet prepares to take off on a test flight from the new Beijing Daxing International Airport on May 13, 2019.

BEIJING (AP) — A Chinese airliner with 133 people on board crashed in the southern province of Guangxi on Monday, state media has reported.

Broadcaster CCTV said the accident involved a China Eastern Airlines Boeing 737 and occurred near the city of Wuzhou in Teng county.

It said rescuers had been dispatched and there was no immediate confirmation of numbers of dead and injured.

Shanghai-based China Eastern is one of China’s top three airlines, operating scores of domestic and international routes serving 248 destinations.

The flight that crashed appeared to be Flight No. MU5735 from Kunming to Guangzhou, according to data from flight-tracking website FlightRadar24. It showed the Boeing 737-89P rapidly lost speed after 0620 GMT before entering a sharp descent.

The plane stopped transmitting data just southwest of the Chinese city of Wuzhou.

Chicago-based Boeing Co. did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The aircraft was delivered to China Eastern from Boeing in June 2015 and had been flying for over six years.

The twin-engine, single aisle Boeing 737 is one of the world’s most popular planes for short and medium-haul flights.

China Eastern operates multiple versions of the common aircraft, including the 737-800 and the 737 Max.

The 737 Max version was grounded worldwide after two fatal crashes. China’s aviation regulator cleared that plane to return to service late last year, making the country the last major market to do so.

China’s last deadly crash of a civilian jetliner was in 2010.