Airliner crashes in China, 42 killed

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Embraer 190 model was rolled out by its Brazilian manufacturer in 2004
Image: Antônio Milena/ABr.

42 people have died in the crash of an airplane that was flying to Yichun in the province of Heilongjiang, north-eastern China, on Tuesday. 54 people, including the captain, survived the crash. Chinese government news agency Xinhua reported that the Embraer 190 jet missed the runway during landing, was damaged and caught fire. The aircraft had taken off in Harbin.

The reason for the crash is not yet clear. However, at the time of the accident, reports indicate that the Yichun Lindu Airport was engulfed in thick fog, though the local weather bureau contradicts this. A surviving passenger reported that the aircraft began to burn well before it came to rest. Many people then rushed to the front, instead of taking the emergency exits. The heavy smoke generated by the fire made breathing difficult. Xinhua reported that government investigators recovered two 'black box' flight recorders on Wednesday.

There were 91 passengers and five crew members aboard the jetliner. According to a Xinhua report yesterday, at least five of the survivors, including three children, remained in a critical condition, and several more are seriously injured.

This is the first major civil aviation crash in China since the crash of a China Eastern Airlines CRJ-200 in 2004. 55 people were killed in that crash.