China Plane Crashes Into Frozen
Lake, Kills 53
Sun Nov 21, 2004 02:44 AM ET
BEIJING (Reuters) - A China Eastern
commuter plane crashed into a frozen
lake seconds after takeoff in Inner
Mongolia Sunday, killing all 53
passengers and crew, state media said.
The Bombardier CRJ200, operated by
two pilots, had taken off from Baotou,
nearly 360 miles west of Beijing, en
route to eastern Shanghai, Xinhua news
agency and China Eastern Airlines Corp.
The weather was clear, with the
temperature around 43 to 45 Fahrenheit,
when the plane, operated by a unit of
China Eastern, the Yunnan Branch Co.,
crashed into the lake in the giant
Nanhai Park at 8:20 a.m., an airport
"Witnesses said that the plane broke
into flaming fragments, a house beside
the park was damaged by the falling
aircraft and several yachts nearby were
The sohu.com news Web site said the
plane crashed through a park ticket
office and one park worker was missing.
The fire had been put out at the lake
and about 100 firefighters and police
were searching among lumps of ice for
State television showed pictures of
rescuers pulling debris from below the
broken ice. The remains of 36 victims
had been found, Xinhua said.
The park, a mile from the runway, had
been cordoned off by police.
"High-standard hospitals in Baotou
have made arrangements for receiving the
remains of victims. And doctors and
nurses are providing medical and related
services for families of the dead,"
Airport officials had been called to
an emergency meeting, staff at the
airport said. An official said there had
been one foreigner on board, but his
nationality was not immediately known.
Baotou, an industrial city of about 1
million people, is the largest city in
China's last major crash was on May
7, 2002, when a China Northern flight
from Beijing to Dalian fell into the sea
after the pilot reported a fire in the
cabin, killing 112 people.
The 68-ft Canadian Bombardier CRJ200
was the world's first 50-seat commuter