China crash kills 42
Plane overshoots runway:
CHINA: A passenger plane overshot a runway while landing at a new
airport in northeast China late Tuesday, bursting into flames and
killing 42 people of 96 on board, in the nation’s worst air disaster
The accident will be a jolt for China’s fast-growing aviation sector,
which has had no major accident in recent years, thanks to stricter
safety rules, better training and relatively young fleets of mainly
The official Xinhua news agency said Vice Premier Zhang Dejiang, the
most senior official overseeing safety issues, was headed to the scene
of the accident.
The Henan Airlines plane crashed at 9.36 pm (1336 GMT) in Yichun, a
remote city of one million in Heilongjiang province surrounded by
forests, after flying from provincial capital Harbin, Xinhua said.
Yichun has a small domestic airport that only opened last year, and
is one of an increasing number of airports built in distant parts of
China to help boost economic development.
While the cause of the crash is still being investigated, Caijing
magazine cited local rules as saying that Yichun airport is “in
principle” not supposed to operate at night.
State media initially said 43 people had died but later revised down
the death toll by one. Seven of the 54 survivors were severly injured,
Yichun mayor Wang Aiwen was quoted as saying.
Their injuries included burns, cuts and broken limbs.
“When I looked out the window, I couldn’t see anything. There were no
lights at all,” Xinhua quoted survivor Xue Xilai as saying. “Soon after
that, the plane bounced heavily on the ground and then broke in two.”
BEIJING, Wednesday, Reuters