Thursday, August 26, 2010

54 survive, 42 dead in crash

Rescuers stand around the wreckage of a crashed passenger plane in Yichun, north-east of China's Heilongjiang Province, in this photo distributed by China's official Xinhua News Agency. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING - A CHINESE airliner smashed into two pieces while trying to land in heavy fog, leaving at least 42 people dead but 54 survivors in the country's first major air disaster in nearly six years.

The Henan Airlines domestic flight was carrying 96 people when it slammed into the ground on landing in the north-east city of Yichun in remote Heilongjiang province late on Tuesday, state media said.

Forty-two people were killed, according to the Civil Aviation Authority of China (CAAC), which reportedly had highlighted past technical problems with the plane involved - an ERJ-190 jet made by Brazilian company Embraer.

On Wednesday, rescuers were combing through the smouldering wreckage while the survivors - mainly from the disembodied plane's front cabin - were being treated in four local hospitals, the Xinhua news agency said.

The plane's captain was among the survivors, but he had severe facial injuries and was unable to talk, Xinhua said.

At Yichun's fog-shrouded airport of Lindu, located in a forest about nine kilometres outside the city, rescuers were transferring victims' bodies wrapped in silver bags to funeral homes for identification, it said. -- AFP

No comments: