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43 killed in air crash in Yichun

Beijing Times.jpg
Beijing Times, August 25, 2010

A passenger jet with 96 people on board crashed while trying to land on the airport in Yichuan, Heilongjiang Province yesterday at 9:35 p.m. According to today's Beijing Times, the airplane broke into two parts shortly before it touched down and burst into flames soon after it landed. 43 people have been confirmed dead.

The crashed plane, an ERJ-190 airliner manufactured by Brazilian company Embraer, belonged to domestic airline company Henan Airlines. The crash put an end to Chinese civil aviation's record of 2102 days without accident since 2004.

Two testimonies from survivors were quoted by the paper:

My seat was 11C, which was just next to the emergency door. The rear part was already on fire and everyone was rushing towards the front. It seemed that the plane didn't land well, because I saw the runway lights were still far off [when it landed]. I was wondering why we landed here.

The flight was very smooth. My colleague told me that it was a new airplane. His words were reassuring enough to make me feel good about the trip. But when it touched down, It seemed that we landed on a bumpy ground and our minds went completely blank, then I saw [sentence incomplete in the original text]. I was the first to get out. I crawled through a broken pothole for fear that the plane might explode. I saw two people who also got out following me.

I didn't see the airport when our plane landed. I didn't see it until there was some barbed wire popping out into my view. I heard sound of crashing and the plane caught fire shortly afterwards. My seat was on the line 9 and I ran to the line 1 on the front. The structure of the plane was distorted and the impact left a hole in its body. I was among the first to flee the plane and it exploded less than two minutes after I got out. I found my waist hurt and my X-ray shows I sustained a spinal fracture.

Yichun air crash.jpg
Annotated illustration of the air crash
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