Rescuers at the site of a plane crash in southern China found burnt wreckage and personal belongings of those on board, but no sign of any survivors.
China Eastern flight MU5735 was carrying 132 people when it nosedived 30,000ft into hills in Guangxi.
The cause of the Boeing 737-800’s crash is being investigated. Recovery work has been hampered by difficult terrain.
There has been an outpouring of grief in China, where families of those on board are waiting anxiously for news.
Although the search for survivors is continuing, there’s been no word of anyone found alive, and neither local media nor the authorities have reported any finding of human remains.
Hundreds of responders have been sent to the crash site in Wuzhou to scour the steeply forested slopes where debris from the crash was strewn.
Rescuers have so far found parts of the 737’s wreckage. State broadcasters showed images of the charred remains of letters, bags, wallets and identity cards belonging to those on board.
The China Eastern Airlines flight from Kunming, the capital of Yunnan, had been due to land in Guangzhou on Monday afternoon.
Flight MU5735 had been in the air for over an hour and was nearing its destination when it suddenly plummeted from its cruising height.
Chinese state TV outlets have broadcast footage which appears to show a jet in a near nosedive to the ground. The footage was captured by a car’s dashcam.
According to FlightRadar24, the plane was cruising at 29,100ft but two minutes and 15 seconds later it was recorded at 9,075ft.
The airline and China’s aviation authorities are investigating the crash. Boeing, the US maker of the plane, said it was also assisting. But emergency teams are still trying to locate the plane’s black box, cockpit voice recorder and any other equipment that could help identify the cause of the crash.
China Eastern Airlines, one of the nation’s big three state-owned carriers, has grounded all its Boeing 737-800s, and set up a hotline for people seeking information on those on board.
Aviation experts say the Boeing 737-800 model has a strong safety record, with thousands in service around the world. The aircraft that crashed was less than seven years old.