A Chinese airliner with 133 people on board has crashed in the southern province of Guangxi, erupting in a horror fire across a mountain.
The China Eastern Airlines Boeing 737 plummeted rapidly then appeared to have smashed into the hillside near the city of Wuzhou in Teng county.
Local media reported that rescuers had been dispatched but there was no immediate confirmation of numbers of dead and injured.
The plane, flight number MU5735 from Kunming to Guangzhou, is believed to be a Boeing 737-89P, not part of the MAX series which has been dogged by problems in recent years.
The flight from Kunming to Guangzhou appeared to rapidly loose speed after 6.20am GMT before entering a sharp descent.
The plane stopped transmitting data just southwest of the Chinese city of Wuzhou, according to data from Flight Radar. Chicago-based Boeing Co. did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Shanghai-based China Eastern is one of China’s top three airlines, operating scores of domestic and international routes serving 248 destinations.
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. Mailonline