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Death toll of Baotou plane crash reaches 55
Updated: 2004-11-21 11:17

Two men on the ground were most likely killed in the plane crash Sunday morning in Baotou City, north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, bringing the death toll of the accident to 55, local police sources said.

The two persons who died on the ground were reportedly workers at the Nanhai Park of Baotou. The body of one of the ground victims was discovered near a ticket office of the park.

Rescue workers inspect the wreckage of a crashed China Eastern Airlines flight in a park in Baotou, north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region Sunday, November 21, 2004. All 53 people onboard the plane were killed. [Xinhua]

Local officials in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region rushed to the scene where the debris of the small plane were scattered, and smoke still billowing from the crash site, eye-witnesses said.

The Flight Mu5210, a CRJ200 turbo plane which normally has capacity to carry 50 passengers, belongs to Eastern Airlines' Yunnan branch, airlines officials said.

The remains of 46 victims were retrieved from the park lake. But the flight data recorders, or black boxes, of the crashed plane have not yet been found.

More than 400 people, including local firefighters, police officers, park staff and a 20-member diving team from Baotou Iron and Steel, a major steel producer based in the city, have joined the rescue work.

No name list of the victims is available now, yet local informed sources said that one of them was the chairman of a renowned company listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

An investigation team has flown from Beijing to Baotou to handle the case. Included are Wang Xianzheng, head of the State Work Safety Administration and Wang Changchun, deputy head of China Administration of Civil Aviation.

Besides, another special emergency team from the China Eastern Airlines Yunnan Branch are on their way from Kunming, capital city of Yunnan Province, to Baotou. It is reported that the crashed plane belonged to the airlines' subsidiary in the province.

It was the first plane crash that occurred in Inner Mongolia, according to the regional work safety administrative office. Prior to this, the region had kept a safe flight record for 45 years, the office added.

CRJ-200, one of the CRJ (Canada Regional Jet) series, is a branch-line civilian aircraft supplied by the Bombardier Aerospace based in Canada. It accommodates 50 seats.




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