CONFIRMED: China Eastern Boeing 737 has crashed

Chinese state media has confirmed that a Boeing 737 has crashed in Teng County in the country’s southern Guangxi region.

According to the Guangxi Emergency Management Department, the aeroplane involved is a China Eastern 737-800. Rescue teams are en route to a mountainous location where an intense fire has been reported.

Beijing-based CCTV initially reported that the passenger aircraft was carrying 133 people, however CAAC, the nation's civil aviation regulator, has since said the figure is 132, comprising 123 passengers and nine crew.  Guangxi authorities say the number of casualties is currently unknown. Bhakta

Local media reports, corroborated by data from flight tracking websites suggest the aircraft involved is China Eastern Airlines Flight MU5735, which was a scheduled passenger service from Kunming to Guangzhou

While not yet formally confirmed by officials in Beijing, the 737-800 operating the service had registration B-1791 (c/n 41474). The jet was delivered new to the Chinese airline in 2015 and was a popular sight at airports as it was adorned with a special peacock livery. 

The China Eastern website and social media pages have been changed to sombre monochrome as details of the accident continue to emerge.

The website and social media pages of China Eastern have turned monochrome as a mark of respect for those involved in the tragedy

The Civil Aviation Administration of China said in a statement: "On March 21, 2022, a Boeing 737 of China Eastern Airlines lost contact over Wuzhou during the Kunming-Guangzhou flight. 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."

Video is circulating on Chinese social media website Weibo showing smoke rising from a mountainside. Further unconfirmed pictures purport to show some of the fuselage strewn across the side of a valley. Key Aero has not been able to independently verify this footage.  

This is a breaking story – check back soon for more updates.