A Boeing 737-800 operated by China Eastern Airlines has crashed in central China.

The aircraft bears registration B-1791 (MSN41474) and was operating service MU5735 from Kunming to Guangzhou with 132 aboard, according to the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), which confirmed the incident. The number of casualties are not immediately known. 


Source: Wikimedia Commons

China Eastern Boeing 737-800, registered B-1791, seen in Bangkok in 2016.

“On March 21, 2022, a Boeing 737 of China Eastern Airlines lost contact over Wuzhou during the Kunming-Guangzhou flight,” says CAAC.

“The plane has now been confirmed to have crashed. There were 132 people on board, including 123 passengers and 9 crew members. The Civil Aviation Administration has activated the emergency mechanism and dispatched a working group to the scene.”

China Eastern in a separate statement also confirmed the incident, adding that it has also sent a team to the crash site, and is cooperating with ongoing investigations.

Flight tracking sites indicate that the aircraft had completed about three quarters of its flight when it plunged abruptly from 30,000ft to ground level.

Screen Shot 2022-03-21 at 5.08.48 PM

Source: Screengrab via FlightRadar24

Flight tracking data from FlightRadar24 for MU5735

One video on social media shows people with what appears to be a part of the aircraft’s fuselage or wing, while another shows smoke billowing from a forested area, apparently marking where the crash occurred. 

Cirium fleets data indicates that B-1791 was delivered to China Eastern in June 2015, and served with China Eastern Airlines Yunnan.

Story updated with China Eastern statement.