Investigators in China have opened an inquiry after a Boeing MD-11 freighter, newly introduced to cargo carrier Avient Aviation, crashed on departure from Shanghai.

Seven crew members were on board the aircraft, and preliminary information points to three fatalities.

Avient says that the accident occurred during take-off from Shanghai Pudong International Airport at 08:16.

The aircraft was operating a charter freight flight, says Avient, which has a European headquarters in the UK although its fleet is registered in Zimbabwe.

Avient MD-11F crash

"At this time, the full resources of Avient's accident response team have been mobilised and will be devoted to co-operating with all authorities responding to the accident," the carrier adds.

While the identity of the airframe has yet to be confirmed, Avient had only just taken delivery of its first MD-11F - registered Z-BAV, serial number 48408 - in the last few days.

This aircraft is an 18-year old Pratt & Whitney PW4000-powered example. Avient opted for the MD-11F to begin replacing its McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30Fs.

Shanghai Pudong's operator states that the aircraft, operating flight Z3324, "overshot the runway" and "disintegrated in flames". There are no casualties on the ground, it adds.

Closure of runways at Pudong after the accident led to 68 flights being delayed but services returned to normal at about 14:00.

National civil aviation accident investigators have opened an inquiry into the accident, the airport operator states. The flight, which departed runway 35R, is said to have been bound for Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.

Avient has a European operations hub at Liege in Belgium, the carrier having recently transferred there from Vatry in France.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news