A China Northern Airlines plane carrying 112 people has crashed into
the sea near Dalian in north-east China.
The official Xinhua News Agency said more than 60 bodies had been
found and there was little hope of finding any survivors.
Witnesses quoted by Xinhua said the plane - Flight 6136 - crashed
into the sea some 20 km (12 miles) east of Dalian airport.
Liu Jiqing, a loader at Dalian
port, said he saw the plane "making several circles before plunging
into the sea".
The MD-82 airliner was flying from Beijing to Dalian, with 103
passengers and nine crew members.
Eight foreigners - from Japan and South Korea - were among the
passengers. But the majority were Dalian residents, likely to be
travelling back to work after China's week-long Labour Day holiday.
Ground controllers reportedly lost contact with the plane at 2132
(1332 GMT) after its captain reported that a fire had broken out in
The BBC's Rupert Wingfield -Hayes, who is at the scene, says there
is speculation that there was an intense fire on board moments before
When they heard the news, fishermen set off in their boats on
their own accord
Dalian port official
Xinhua says rescuers found a food
trolley that had been burned black and broken in half, indicating the
seriousness of the fire.
More than 30 rescue ships raced to the crash site.
"We sent every boat we could find," said a Dalian port authority
"When they heard the news, fishermen set off in their boats of
their own accord," he said.
However, there have been no reports of survivors and the rescue
effort is being hampered by darkness.
News of the crash came soon after an EgyptAir plane carrying 65
people crashed while trying to land near Tunisia's capital Tunis.
Egyptian officials said there were at least 20 deaths, but many of
those on board are said to have survived.
here for further details
The Dalian crash is the second involving a Chinese airline in less
than a month.
On 15 April, 129 people died when an Air China Boeing 767 crashed
into a fog-covered mountain in South Korea.
South Korean officials have suggested pilot error was to blame in
China Northern Airlines, established in 1990, is based in Shenyang,
the capital of Liaoning. It has 24 MD-82s among its fleet.