'Catastrophic incident on board' Chinese plane sparked death plunge, expert says

22 March 2022, 10:51

Footage appeared to show the moment a passenger plane crashed into a mountain in China.
Footage appeared to show the moment a passenger plane crashed into a mountain in China. Picture: Social media/Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

The plane crash in China that claimed 132 lives could have been caused by a "catastrophic incident" on board the flight, an expert analyst has told LBC.

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Nobody survived the devastating crash in which the passenger plane plunged thousands of feet from the sky in an almost vertical freefall.

Speaking to LBC, expert Sally Gethin explained how the Boeing 737 suddenly dropped from the sky after an apparent attempt to 'level off' its flightpath, and detailed what could have be the reason behind the disaster.

"It's really hard to ascertain at this point in time whether the aircraft was entirely intact when it dropped so suddenly," she said.

"I would tend to think that there had already been a catastrophic incident on board for it to be able to drop so dramatically in that way.

"But at the same time, it could also be a problem that the pilot was struggling with and finally lost control."

Despite speculation, Ms Gethin said the real reason behind the crash would hopefully be uncovered when the two black boxes - the data recorder and the voice recorder - are uncovered from the wreckage.

"[It] will be revealed in their communications with the radar control, with their traffic management side, and that will be revealed in the voice recorder," she said.

Read more: Horrifying moment plane with 132 passengers 'nosedives' into Chinese mountain

Read more: No survivors found after plane nosedives into mountainside in China

Footage from China shows crash site of jet

When asked about unverified footage showing a plane nosediving, she explained: "[The plane] was at nearly 30,000 feet - which is cruising altitude - and from the ground that would look like a dot up in the sky.

"It fell from that height – nearly 30,000 feet – suddenly perpendicular.

"It maintained some stability, it paused and then several seconds later it then dropped again suddenly.

"That footage captures it in that second phase, where it drops completely vertically to the ground."

She went on to say: "The impact of the crash ruled out survivors because there was no chance to land it in a gradual way."