Date: February, 24th 1999
Type: Tupolev Tu-154
Operator: China Southwest Airlines
Where: Wenzhou in Zhejiang province, China
Report Date: -
This is not an accident investigation report.
Russian-built Tupolev Tu-154 exploded
in mid-air on its final approach to the city of Wenzhou in Zhejiang province.
Other officials said the China Southwest Airlines plane may have exploded on
impact 30 km (18 miles) short of the airport.
Xinhua said the plane was carrying 51 passengers and 13 crew.
A hospital doctor sent to the crash site said there were no survivors. Body
parts, strips of clothing and debris from the plane were strewn around
farmland in a flat area.
``Not one body is intact,'' he told Reuters by telephone.
A police officer in Ruian, a city close to the crash site, said an explosion
brought down the plane.
``The explosion occurred while it was in flight,'' he told Reuters.
The plane took off from Chengdu, capital of the southwest province of Sichuan,
and crashed at 4.20 p.m. (0820 GMT), Xinhua reported.
Chinese domestic flights are now packed with passengers returning to work
after visiting their ancestral homes for the Lunar New Year holiday.
The doctor said hundreds of police and rescue workers were combing the crash
area. Cordons were thrown up along narrow roads leading to the site to hold
back curious onlookers.
The Communist Party official at Wenzhou said the airport had radio contact
with the plane when it descended to 1,000 meters (3,300 feet).
"Afterward it came down 700 meters (2,300 feet) and contact was lost," he
The accident happened about 4:30 p.m. (1630).
Aviation officials are at the crash site, some 1,300 kilometers (800 miles)
from Beijing. Searchers are looking for the jetliner's flight data record, which
could give some indication of what caused the plane to crash.