Rescue work continues after passenger plane crash

(Xinhua) 09:15, March 23, 2022

NANNING, March 22 (Xinhua) -- Rescue work continued on Tuesday after a passenger plane with 132 people aboard crashed in south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region Monday afternoon.

Over 2,000 people have been sent to the site as part of the rescue efforts.

"The site of the crash in a mountain forest complicates the search for the black boxes and we have to rely mainly on drones and rescue staff," said Zhu Xiaodong, a rescuer with a drone rescue center in Guangzhou, capital of south China's Guangdong Province and also the destination of the plane.

Experts from the public security department and the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) are entering the main crash site to search for physical evidence, confirm the identity of the missing persons and find out the possible cause of the accident. Some personal belongings of the passengers have been collected and numbered.

Drones have been deployed to search for more evidence in an area of nearly 680,000 square meters, according to Zhang Xueliang, a rescuer. "The drones' thermal imaging function will help locate the black boxes," Zhang added.

At around 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday, light rain began to fall over the rescue site. The local meteorological department forecast that more rain and high winds would hit the area in the next 24 hours, which might adversely affect the search efforts.

On Tuesday afternoon, Xinhua reporters spotted around six excavators and nearly 50 workers scrambling to clear a passage to the site for the rescue crew and the necessary machinery.

"We need to complete all preparations prior to the rain, and the initial objective is to gain entry to the site by approximately 8 p.m. Tuesday," said Guo Zhaoliang, in charge of the route construction.

Many residents nearby have volunteered to deliver tents, food and other relief supplies to the site by motorcycle.

So far, no survivors have been found. The rescuers, who are conducting a blanket search-and-rescue operation, said they would not give up seeking to save lives while there is still a chance.

The China Eastern Airlines Boeing 737 aircraft, which departed from Kunming and was bound for Guangzhou, crashed into a mountainous area in Tengxian County in Guangxi at 2:38 p.m. Monday, causing a mountain fire.

China's civil aviation regulator has called for screening hidden risks to boost civil aviation safety. Concrete measures should be taken to strengthen the investigation of hidden dangers concerning aircraft maintenance, flight weather conditions, personnel qualifications and operational skills, said the CAAC.

On Tuesday, Boeing China said that it is cooperating with China Eastern Airlines, and its technical experts are ready to aid the CAAC in conducting the investigation. 

(Web editor: Peng yukai, Liang Jun)


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