China. Plane crash that killed 132 may have been intentional

media report
Plane crash in China may have been intentional, killing 132 people

Plane crash in China

Rescue workers in China investigate the plane crash site in Tengxian County, south China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, March 22.

© Jiang Huaipeng/XinHua/dpa

The crash of an airliner in China in March that killed 132 people may have been deliberate, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

China Eastern Airline flight MU5375 was en route between the Chinese cities of Kunming and Guangzhou on March 21. Above the Guanxi area, the craft, a Boeing 737-800, suddenly crashed from a height of about 8800 meters and crashed into a mountain slope. All 132 occupants died. The accident could have been caused on purpose. That’s according to flight recorder data reviewed by US investigators, as The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday. “The plane did what it was told to do by someone in the cockpit,” the newspaper said, citing a source, who is familiar with the preliminary assessment by US authorities.

After the accident, China’s civil aviation authority CAAC took over the investigation into the cause of the accident. At the end of April, it announced that it had completed a preliminary report – but gave no information on a possible cause of the crash. In accordance with international air traffic regulations, the US Air Traffic Safety Administration NTSB provided technical support to the investigation, which is why the flight recorder data was transmitted to the United States.

According to the Wall Street Journal, this data shows that one of the pilots, or someone who had entered the cockpit, used controls to force the plane to nose dive and cause it to crash. According to the newspaper, US authorities consider the pilot more likely to be responsible. The CAAC, on the other hand, had announced that there were no suspicions against the pilot.

Airplane crash in China: flight altitude chart

Data from the Flightradar24 tracking portal shows how flight MU5375 moves on March 21, 2022 at an altitude of approximately 8800 meters then suddenly loses a massive amount of flight altitude (red circle)

© Screenshot /

Plane crash in China is the deadliest aviation accident in 30 years

According to the Wall Street Journal, US authorities see their conclusions supported by the fact that Chinese investigators have so far reported no problems with the aircraft or airspace surveillance. A statement from the CAAC says the crew completed all security checks, there were no hazardous materials on board and the flight did not encounter any problematic weather conditions.

After the plane crash in March, the Chinese Communist Party was quick to keep information about the accident under control. After the crash, China’s internet regulator announced that it had removed a large amount of “illegal information” from the internet.

The crash was the deadliest plane crash in China in three decades. Security in the country is very strict.

Aircraft accidents caused by pilots are extremely rare. In March 2015, the co-pilot of a German airline, Germanwings, intentionally crashed a plane in the French Alps. 144 passengers and six crew members died. Since then, the European aviation safety authority EASA has reinforced the medical care of pilots, particularly with regard to their mental health.

See also: Images of the destruction of the Antonov An-225 – what remains of what was once the largest aircraft in the world


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