Saturday 24 September 2016

Five killed as seaplane crashes into bridge on inaugural flight in China

Published 20/07/2016 | 12:05

The seaplane was travelling from Shanghai's Jinshan district to the Zhoushan islands
The seaplane was travelling from Shanghai's Jinshan district to the Zhoushan islands

A seaplane making its inaugural flight has crashed into a bridge outside Shanghai, killing five people on board.

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The Cessna 208B operated by Joy Air was carrying two crew members and eight invited guests, according to the state-run news site The Paper.

The other five people on board at the time are being treated in hospital.

The seaplane took off from suburban Shanghai's Jinshan district and was bound for the Zhoushan islands, about 47 miles to the south.

The route is designed for tourists and sightseers who want to escape to the islands from the sprawling financial centre.

A spokeswoman for Joy Air, China's largest seaplane operator, said all company executives are at the crash site and she had no further details.

The Paper said the cause of the crash is under investigation.

Local media were invited to tour the seaplane before it took off as part of a publicity campaign to promote the airline's new coastal service.

Those on board the seaplane were government workers and local journalists.

Speaking from his hospital bed, one of the passengers, local television cameraman Wu Liangliang, said the seaplane circled several times and then made an abrupt left turn before crashing into the bridge.

"It was like something out of a dream," he said.

Another survivor, Song Wanjun, said he and three other passengers were in the rear cabin and survived by escaping through the rear emergency exit.

"I was the last one to crawl out, but those in the front rows could not," Mr Song told the Xinmin Evening News.

"I was calling on everyone not to panic, but to wait for rescue."

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