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The China Eastern plane that crashed in the hills of the Guangxi region of China is still being investigated and recovered by authorities who, so far, don’t have very much information about the crash.
The crash caused a big fire initially, so firefighters were the first on the scene. Now, there are also rescue teams and investigators on the ground trying to figure out what happened.
What we do know, though, is that the crash happened suddenly, with the plane dropping from 29,000 feet into a hillside in less than two minutes. Chinese state media have described the crash as “grim” and said there’s a real possibility that everyone on board died in the crash.
“The jet was seriously damaged during the crash, and investigations will face a very high level of difficulty," Zhu Tao, director of aviation safety at the Civil Aviation Administration of China, said at the first government briefing on the disaster. “Given the information currently available, we still do not have a clear assessment of the cause for the crash," he said, adding that the aircraft did not respond to repeated calls from air controllers during its rapid descent. He also said that no survivors had been found yet.
Si, 64, a villager near the crash site who declined to give his first name, told Reuters he heard a “bang, bang" at the time of the crash. “It was like thunder," he said.
“That B737-800 jet met airworthiness standards before taking off and technical conditions were stable," Sun Shiying, a China Eastern official, said at a briefing. “The crew members were in good health, and their flying experience was in line with regulatory requirements," he said.