On Monday, terrifying footage recorded the exact moment a China Eastern Boeing 737 carrying 132 people crashed out of the sky and burst into flames in southern China.
The jet nose-dived towards the ground in Wuzhou in the southern region of Guangxi, according to the video released by local media. Chinese officials believe it is the country’s worst air catastrophe in over a decade.
There has been no official news from the Chinese government on the status of all 132 persons on board more than 12 hours after the disaster, and it is unknown if anybody survived.
Officials claimed the jet was travelling at around 30,000 feet when it abruptly began descending vertically and crashed into isolated mountains, igniting a conflagration large enough to be seen on NASA satellite photographs.
The cause of the plane’s unexpected demise is yet unknown.
In the aftermath of the incident, separate footage showed massive smoke and flames pouring from the crash site. According to local media, villagers discovered plane debris dispersed over the area.
Despite the lack of instant information about the number of people killed or injured, China Eastern expressed its condolences to those on board.
In a statement, the airline said, “The company expresses its sorrowful condolences to the passengers and crew members who died in this plane crash.”
Many possible causes of the crash will be investigated, including deliberate action such as terrorism, technical faults, a mid-air collision, and suicide by crash.
The plane’s rapid vertical drop, according to experts, indicates a likely technical failure.
The aircraft most likely lost power at cruising altitude, causing the pilot to lose control of the plane.
“This is a very serious technical failure in which the plane inevitably enters a high-speed descent,” said Wang Ya’nan, the head editor of Beijing-based Aerospace Knowledge.
The jet, which was carrying 123 passengers and nine crew members, was in the cruising stage when it crashed, according to analysts.