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China continues rescue work at the site of the crashed plane

Beijing, March 22 (EFE) .- Rescue efforts continued in southern China, where a China Eastern airlines Boeing 737-800 crashed on Monday with 132 people on board, although the chances of finding survivors are remote. More than 24 hours after the catastrophe, the authorities have not yet published any official number of victims. The plane made the journey between the cities of Kunming (southwest) and Guangzhou (southeast) and took off at 1:15 p.m. local time (05:15 GMT) on Monday before crashing to the ground in the Guangxi region at 2:38 p.m. local time (06:38 GMT). . The discovery of the black boxes has not been reported either, and the causes of the incident are still being investigated. DUCTING DESCENT “The plane plummeted and seemed to be in one piece during the descent. A few seconds later, it crashed,” says a resident of the area quoted by the state agency Xinhua. The testimony of witnesses and some unverified videos circulating in the Chinese media – they show the plane plummeting – fit with the data from the FlightRadar24 flight tracking portal: the aircraft was flying at 2:19 p.m. local time (06:19 GMT) to An altitude of 29,100 feet (8,870 meters) when, about 55 kilometers west of the town of Wuzhou, it began a descent. The last point of contact of the flight, according to the portal, was about 25 kilometers southwest of Wuzhou, at an altitude of 3,225 feet (989 meters), at 2:22 p.m. local time (06:22 GMT), which would mean that in just three minutes the plane descended almost 8,000 meters. DIFFICULT RESCUE TASKS The accident caused a forest fire in the remote and mountainous area, which was a challenge for the rescue teams, who reported difficulties in getting fire trucks to the vicinity. One local described to Xinhua seeing a “big hole” at the impact site, around which were “downed trees within a radius of 12 meters.” The fire was put out on Monday afternoon and the rescuers, among whom had more than 1,000 firefighters, could access the place of sinister, where they also went more late soldier posted for the Chinese Army, who mobilized some of their troops in the area for collaborating in the search, which lasted through the night and continues today. “There are pieces of the plane’s wing, some between two and three meters. There are also debris and debris, some of which are probably pieces of clothing,” described a worker quoted by Xinhua. The Guangxi Health Commission later sent 36 ambulances and 80 medical workers to the area to treat possible survivors, and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He went to the scene to supervise the operations. CHINA EASTERN CANCELS FLIGHTS China Eastern today canceled more than 1,900 flights in the Asian country, a figure that represents around 90% of those that should operate today throughout the Chinese territory. The airline, the second largest in the country by number of passengers, surely all its Boeing 737-800 aircraft, the model of the crashed plane, remained on the ground until it has more information about what happened, according to the local press. The event has caused falls in the stock market value of China Eastern: its shares fell 6.15% today on the Shanghai Stock Exchange and 6.3% on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, where it is also listed. Other carriers in China such as Shanghai Airlines and China United Airlines are also deciding to land their 737-800s for the time being. According to data provided by Sina Finance, 23 Chinese airlines have 737-800 models in their fleet, and this Tuesday 853 flights of this model were planned in the Asian country. Boeing shares fell this Monday on the New York Stock Exchange and 3.59%. SURVEILLANCE ON THE NETWORKS Some of the main social networks in the country such as Weibo or the national version of the short video application Tiktok, Douyin, announced that they will eliminate the accounts of users who joke with the event or who use it as an advertising or commercial claim. . “Most netizens are following the development of the situation or praying for the victims, but some made fun of the accident or ridiculed it,” he explained in a Weibo statement, which “firmly” opposes such behavior. Weibo, which has temporarily or indefinitely blocked 25 accounts for violating these rules, asked its users to express their opinions “in a rational way” and urged them “not to post false messages of empathy”. c) EFE Agency

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