The China Eastern Airlines Boeing 737-800 was flying from Kunming to Guangzhou when it plunged to earth in Guangxi province and caught fire on Monday afternoon.
Flight tracking data suggested the plane lost height rapidly from its cruising altitude before plummeting to the ground.
More than 600 emergency responders are said to be at the crash site. Firefighters reached the scene first and managed to extinguish a blaze in the hills caused by the crash.
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