The early reports from the aftermath of a passenger jet crash in China are grim: No sign of survivors has been found after the Boeing 737 crashed into the mountains in a remote southern region, reports the AP. China Eastern Airlines, which operated the flight, has publicly offered its condolences, thought it did not specify casualties. The plane was carrying 132 people, and if all were killed, it would be China's worst air disaster in about three decades, reports the Wall Street Journal. The plane lost contact with ground control about 2:20pm local time, then plummeted from about 29,000 feet to 4,300 in three minutes before all traces of it disappeared, per CNN. The resulting impact created a fire large enough to be seen by satellites in space.
"The plane fell vertically from the sky," one witness told state media outlet Beijing Youth Daily. "Although I was very far away, I could still see that it was a plane. The plane did not smoke during the fall. The fire started after it fell into the mountain." The 737-800, en route from Kunming in the southwestern province of Yunnan to Guangzhou on the east coast, crashed near the city of Wuzhou in the Guangxi region. However, the region in which it went down is remote, which was hampering rescuers' ability to reach the scene. Chinese President Xi Jinping called for an "all-out effort" by search teams, along with an investigation into the cause. China Eastern has grounded all 737-800 planes in its fleet in the meantime. (Read more plane crash stories.)