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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Many killed in China air crash

At least 43 people have died when a Chinese plane with 96 people onboard crashed in Heilongjiang province in the country's northeast.

State media said 53 people were rescued.

The Henan Airlines plane overshot the runway and caught fire when it was landing at 10:10pm local time [14:10 GMT] on Tuesday in Lindu airport of Yichun city, Xinhua said.

Al Jazeera's Harry Hawcett, reporting from China, said "local reports suggested that the plane broke up as it came down and passengers were thrown [out of] the two parts of the plane as it crashed."

"There was a fire which raged for an hour and half after this crash... It was a very bad fire."

State media said that the plane crashed about a kilometre from the runway in foggy weather.

The plane had taken off from Heilongjiang's capital of Harbin shortly before 9:00pm [13:00 GMT].

The aircraft was an E-190 jet manufactured by Embraer, the Brazilian aerospace conglomerate.

The last major passenger jet crash in China was in November 2004, when an China Eastern airplane plunged into a lake in northern China shortly, killing all 53 on board and two on the ground.

An MD-11 cargo plane operated by Zimbabwe-based Avient Aviation crashed during takeoff from Shanghai's main airport last November. Three American crew members died while four others on board were injured.

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