There are no indications of survivors following the crash of a China Eastern Airlines flight that officials say was carrying 132 people in a remote mountainous region of southern China on Monday.
The airline said in a statement Monday it deeply mourned the passengers and crew but did not specify how many people had been killed.
Chinese media reports quoted local search and rescue workers as saying they had found no signs of life among the plane’s wreckage.
Officials from the Civil Aviation Administration of China say the Boeing 737-800 was en route from the southwestern city of Kunming to the eastern city of Guangzhou when it went down near the city of Wuzhou in China’s Guangxi region.
The crash sparked a fire that could be seen on NASA satellite images.
According to data from the flight-tracking website FlightRadar24.com, the plane was traveling at about 30,000 feet when it suddenly entered a deep dive.
Chinese media broadcast a video that appeared to show a plane in a near vertical nosedive. It was not possible to verify the authenticity of the footage.
Chinese President Xi Jinping called for investigators to determine the “cause of the accident as soon as possible,” state broadcaster CCTV reported.
The twin engine Boeing plane is one of the world’s most popular planes for short and medium-haul flights.
China Eastern is one of China’s top three airlines, according to the Associated Press, with headquarters in Shanghai.
The last deadly crash involving a civilian jetliner in China was in August 2010, when a plane flown by Henan Airlines crashed on its approach to Yichun airport.
Some information in this report came from The Associated Press, Reuters and Agence France-Presse.