Plane crash kills 42 in north-eastern China

24.8.2010 (BBC)

At least 42 people have been killed after a passenger plane crash-landed in the
north-eastern Chinese province of Heilongjiang, state media report.

The Henan Airlines aircraft, with 91 people on board, burst into flames after
overshooting the runway at Yichun City’s airport at 2136 (1336 GMT).

Police in Heilongjiang told Chinese state TV that three of the 49 survivors were
in a critical condition.

Map of China

The Embraer ERJ-190 had taken off from the provincial capital Harbin at 2051.

Among those on board were five crew members and five children, officials from
the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) told the Xinhua news agency.

Henan Airlines earlier told Xinhua that the plane was carrying 96 people.

Sun Bangnan, the deputy director of Heilongjiang’s public security department,
said the majority of those rescued had not suffered life-threatening injuries.

Unconfirmed reports said Yichun City’s Lindu airport had been shrouded in heavy
fog at the time of the crash.

Henan Airlines Embraer ERJ-190 (file)
Henan Airlines operates five Embraer ERJ-190 passenger planes 

A 20-strong team of CAAC officials and technicians have reportedly already left
for Yichun City to begin an investigation.

Lindu airport is a small domestic facility that opened only last year.

Henan Airlines is a joint venture between Shenzhen Airlines of China and Mesa
Air Group of the US, and is based in Henan province. It was previously known as
Kunpeng Airlines.

The BBC’s Martin Patience in Beijing says China has seen a rapid expansion in
its domestic airlines in recent years and generally they have a good safety record.

The last serious air accident was in 2004, when a passenger plane crashed into
a frozen lake near the northern city of Baotou, killing all 53 people on board.
Two people on the ground also died.


see also



China plane crash raises questions over airport safety

Airline decided last year to halt night flights at Yichun where 42 passengers
died in crash, China’s first major air disaster for five years



and see also


26.8.2010 DNA India

Landing prematurely caused China plane crash: Initial probe

The ill-fated Chinese airliner may have crashed due to “landing prematurely”
in the woods, 2km ahead of the runway, in the northeast city of Yichun in remote
Heilongjiang province, according to preliminary investigations.

The investigations revealed that the plane broke apart while “landing prematurely”,
throwing out some of the passengers before bursting into flames and exploding.
Eight victims were found 20 to 30 meters from the plane’s wreckage in a muddy

The plane landed about 2km short of the runway, outside the barbed-wire enclosed
Lindu airport in Yichun, state-run China Daily reported, contradicting the earlier version that the plane overshot the runway.

Following the crash, the Henan Airlines which operated the ill-fated flight has
grounded all flights for the next three days.

Meanwhile, the airport was opened today with the first landing 40 hours after
the deadly crash in China in nearly six years. An Airbus 320 carrying some of
the relatives of the victims landed at Lindu Airport in Yichun, official media

The airport was shutdown after the Brazil-made ERJ-190 turbine jet of Henan Airlines
crashed while landing at the Lindu Airport, located in forest-covered mountain
valley, which was opened few months ago. The plane’s two “black boxes” were recovered

An official probe began yesterday with a directive to all domestic airlines to
overhaul safety measures. The state council, or China’s cabinet, has set up a
special work group to probe the cause of the crash.

Three of five children injured in the accident were in critical condition. “Four
children suffered from airway burns and three were in critical condition. The
next 48 hours are crucial,” said Wang Yongchen, deputy chief of First Affiliated
Hospital of Harbin Medical University.

Fifteen passengers severely injured in the disaster that killed 42 were airlifted
yesterday from local hospitals of the crash site, Yichun, to the provincial capital

The plane’s captain, Qi Quanjun, survived and was in hospital, though he was
unable to talk due to severe facial injuries, doctors said. A cabin attendant
survived but the plane’s co-pilot and two other attendants were killed. Most of
the casualties were found at the back of the aircraft. The injured suffered mainly
from burns, cuts and broken limbs.

Experts from the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) have ruled out
sabotage. President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao yesterday called for all-out
efforts to save the injured passengers.

They also ordered a thorough investigation into the cause of the accident as
well as thorough inspections within the civil aviation system to eliminate any
safety risks.

Henan Airlines also sacked its general manager Li Qiang.