China plane crash claims 42 lives

25th Aug 2010
China plane crash claims 42 lives

As many as 42 passengers have been killed in a plane crash in the north-eastern Chinese province of Heilongjiang.

According to reports from Chinese state media, the Henan Airlines operated aircraft overshot the runway at Yichun City airport with 91 people on board.

Three of the survivors remain in intensive care in local hospitals, added the state news agency Xinhua.

The Air Embraer 190 aircraft, travelling from Harbin, the provincial capital of northeast China’s Heilongjiang province, broke into two on landing at 22:10 local time last night.

While the cause of the accident has yet to be established, officials investigating the incident confirmed the flight recorder had been recovered.

The pilot is also believed to be among the survivors. However, he is presently unable to assist investigators due to his injuries.

China Central Television (CCTV) has broadcast accounts from survivors of the disaster.

One male survivor explained: “The plane really started to jolt in a scary way - the plane jolted five or six times very strongly.”

Henan Airlines is operated by Air China. Both airlines have suspended all flights following the incident.


Improving Safety

The accident is the first fatal airline crash on Chinese soil for six years and comes against a background of improving safety in the country.

In 2004 a China Eastern Airlines operated Bombardier CRJ-200 crashed into a frozen lake in Inner Mongolia shortly after takeoff, killing 53 people onboard.

Air travel in China has increase by nearly 300 per cent over the past decade, with airlines seeking to modernise fleets to meet international standards.

In a statement planemaker Empresa Brasileira de Aeronautica SA said: “Embraer has made a team of specialists available, and they are already on their way to the site, to support Chinese authorities in the accident investigation.”

The crash is the first fatal accident involving the Brazilian company’s E-Jet family of narrow body aircraft.

Air China, the world’s largest airline by market value, fell 2.2 per cent to 11.39 yuan in Shanghai trading earlier today.



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