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Farmers describe the scene of the China Eastern Airlines plane crash

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Farmers describe the scene of the China Eastern Airlines plane crash

In the mid-afternoon a wave of thunder broke out in a tree-covered valley. China Eastern Airlines Flight MU-5735 crashed to the ground in a mountainous part of rural southern China, where the loudest sounds usually come from swarms of insects and villagers’ motorbikes.

At first, residents of Teng County in the Guangxi region were astonished by the explosion, they told Chinese news outlets. But soon those gathered around a hill saw signs of what could be China’s worst air crash in decades.

Plumes of smoke were floating on the clusters of bamboo and banana trees. Farmers saw pieces of debris, apparently from the plane’s wings and fuselage, some showing a letter from China Eastern Airlines. And villagers gathered to put out some of the fires in the hills, one said in a telephone interview with The New York Times.

Residents told Chinese news outlets that the plane, a Boeing 737 model, fell sharply to Earth in a sparsely populated area.

According to the state-owned China News Service, a resident of Molang village, whom the news service quoted only by his last name, Liu, said he accompanied three other villagers on his motorcycle to see if They can help them. To save They saw parts of the plane scattered at the scene, strips of cloth hung on trees, and the fire spread over more than 10 acres. But they saw no remains, he told the news service.

As dusk fell, the villagers waited for the rescue team to arrive in the deserted area. Chinese authorities have sent about 1,000 firefighters and 100 members of a local militia to the crash site to conduct rescue operations.

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The first rescuers to arrive began clearing the debris between the fern and the bamboo.

At the flight’s scheduled destination, Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport, about 150 miles away, friends and relatives who had gone there to welcome the passengers on board the flight await news of the 132 survivors. Were.

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