A Boeing 737 passenger plane crashed Monday in China with 132 people on board. The number of deaths or injuries were not immediately known as firefighters and rescuers rushed to the crash site on the fiery mountainside in the southern province of Guangxi.
The China Eastern flight lost contact around 2:15 p.m. while flying around 30,000 feet, according to the Associated Press. Flightradar24 shows that minutes later, the plane took a deep dive at its cruising altitude speed before crashing into the mountains.
The China Eastern flight was cruising near 30,000 feet before a deep dive at cruising altitude speed. Source: flightradar24
The Civil Aviation Administration of China said the plane was traveling from Kunming to the industrial center of Guangzhou. There were 123 passengers on board and nine crew members.
State media reports that the country’s entire fleet of 737-800s will be grounded. Boeing, meanwhile, has said it’s aware of the reports of the crash and is working to get more information. The company’s stock tanked in premarket trading on news of the crash, which comes as the company is still trying to improve its safety reputation.
The Boeing 737-800 model that crashed is considered to be one of the safest aircraft in the sky due to its strong safety record. It is not the 737 MAX, which was grounded worldwide after two of them crashed nearly four years ago, killing 346 people. China’s aviation regulator cleared that model to return to service late last year, the last major market to do so. Still, the MAX has yet to return to service there.