Plane crash kills 42 in north-eastern China

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Media captionThe majority of those rescued did not suffer life-threatening injuries

At least 42 people have been killed after a passenger plane crash-landed in the north-eastern Chinese province of Heilongjiang, state media report.

The Henan Airlines aircraft, with 91 people on board, burst into flames after overshooting the runway at Yichun City's airport at 2136 (1336 GMT).

Police in Heilongjiang told Chinese state TV that three of the 49 survivors were in a critical condition.

The Embraer ERJ-190 had taken off from the provincial capital Harbin at 2051.

Among those on board were five crew members and five children, officials from the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) told the Xinhua news agency.

Henan Airlines earlier told Xinhua that the plane was carrying 96 people.

Sun Bangnan, the deputy director of Heilongjiang's public security department, said the majority of those rescued had not suffered life-threatening injuries.

Unconfirmed reports said Yichun City's Lindu airport had been shrouded in heavy fog at the time of the crash.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Henan Airlines operates five Embraer ERJ-190 passenger planes

A 20-strong team of CAAC officials and technicians have reportedly already left for Yichun City to begin an investigation.

Lindu airport is a small domestic facility that opened only last year.

Henan Airlines is a joint venture between Shenzhen Airlines of China and Mesa Air Group of the US, and is based in Henan province. It was previously known as Kunpeng Airlines.

The BBC's Martin Patience in Beijing says China has seen a rapid expansion in its domestic airlines in recent years and generally they have a good safety record.

The last serious air accident was in 2004, when a passenger plane crashed into a frozen lake near the northern city of Baotou, killing all 53 people on board. Two people on the ground also died.

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