China's civil aviation regulator calls for an investigation on potential safety hazards after plane crash
Published: Mar 21, 2022 11:59 PM

Rescue team at the crash site Photo: VCG

China's civil aviation regulator immediately activated its emergency response mechanism upon receiving reports of the fatal accident on Monday and called for an investigation on potential safety hazards after the crash.

China Eastern's Boeing 737 with 132 people onboard crashed earlier on Monday afternoon in Tengxian county, South China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, causing a fire in the mountainous area. 

The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) sent a working group to the scene to conduct an investigation and issued two circulars to practitioners on strengthening aviation safety measures, after Chinese leaders issued guidance on the incident.

The CAAC called for strengthening the organizational leadership of safety work, enhancing risk prevention and control, strictly enforcing regulations and operational standards, and fulfilling safety supervision responsibilities.

In the statement, the CAAC also emphasized that the air traffic control department should strengthen weather forecasting and timely notification of weather changes on site. If there is dangerous or marginal weather, it should put forward a timely warning to assist crews to react properly.

Local search teams have made every effort to get to the crash site. An official from the Wuzhou Fire Brigade in Guangxi told the Global Times that the road is clear now and fire trucks and large equipment have entered the site. 

At around 3 pm on Monday local time, the brigade deployed a rescue team of 25 fire engines and 117 firefighters to the scene of the accident.

The PLA Southern Theater Command organized forces on Monday to join the rescue efforts at the crash site with multiple units standing by.

The Guangxi branch of China Southern Power Grid has deployed four emergency mobile generator, eight emergency generators, and emergency lighting equipment to the scene,  making every effort to ensure a safe and reliable power supply at the rescue site, according to online news outlet, 

Shortly after the accident, Chinese President Xi Jinping has ordered all-out search and rescue efforts, according to Xinhua News Agency. Xi ordered the immediate launch of an emergency response, all-out search and rescue efforts and the proper settlement of the aftermath.

According to the instruction, the CAAC, the Ministry of Emergency Management and other relevant departments have sent working groups to the scene to guide the handling of the disaster and dispatched provincial rescue teams and from the neighboring province of Guangdong. The handling of the aftermath and the investigation on the cause of the accident are under way.

CCTV reported that some relatives of the crew of the crashed plane arrived at the Yunnan branch of China Eastern Airlines and the crew family assistance team is handling the issue.