China Northern Airlines Flight 6136
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|Date||May 7, 2002|
|Summary||In-flight arson by passenger|
|Site||Bohai Bay, near Dalian, China|
|Aircraft type||McDonnell Douglas MD-82|
|Operator||China Northern Airlines|
|Flight origin||Beijing Capital International Airport|
|Destination||Dalian Zhoushuizi International Airport|
China Northern Airlines Flight 6136 (CBF6136, CJ6136) was a domestic passenger flight from Beijing Capital International Airport, Beijing to Dalian Zhoushuizi International Airport, in Dalian, Liaoning province, China.
On May 7, 2002 the McDonnell Douglas MD-82 operating the flight crashed into the bay near Dalian shortly after the pilot reported "fire on board", killing all 103 passengers and 9 crew members. It was the second air disaster involving PRC aircraft in less than a month, after the Air China Flight 129 disaster on April 15. The crash occurred hours after the crash of an EgyptAir Boeing 737 in Tunis that claimed 14 lives. The cause of the fire was later determined to be arson.
The aircraft involved was a McDonnell Douglas MD-82 with the registration B-2138 and manufacturer's serial number 49522. It had been built in 1991 and had accumulated about 26,000 hours' flight time in service.
The jetliner left its boarding gate at Beijing Capital International Airport at 20:22 and took off at 20:37 local time (12:37 UTC) from Runway 36R. At 21:20, as the aircraft neared Dalian, the captain reported "fire in cabin" to Dalian tower and requested an emergency landing. At 21:24 the aircraft disappeared from the radar screen and lost contact with air traffic control. It was due to arrive in Dalian at 21:40.
The aircraft crashed in the water at a 90 degree bank angle and 30 degree nose down pitch. On May 14, seven days after the disaster, the two flight recorders were retrieved from the seabed by searchers.
Results of the accident investigation were published by the Xinhua News Agency on December 8, 2002. A passenger named Zhang Pilin (张丕林) apparently set fire to the passenger cabin with gasoline, causing the loss of control and crash. Zhang had purchased seven air insurance policies worth a total of 1,400,000 renminbi (about 170,000 USD) prior to boarding the flight.
The investigation of the wreckage showed a quantity of gasoline near Zhang's seat, and that most passengers, including Zhang, died of carbon monoxide inhalation. The engines, cabin floor, and other critical parts showed no signs of burning or explosion.
Further investigation showed that Zhang had flown from Dalian to Beijing and returned to Dalian on Flight 6136 the same day. According to security camera recordings, he had spent several hours smoking cigarettes in the waiting hall of Beijing airport. Zhang purchased two insurance policies before leaving Dalian and purchased the remaining five in Beijing. Some water bottles filled with gasoline were also found in Zhang's apartment.
Of the 103 passengers, 96 were from China (including one from Hong Kong); three were Japanese; and the remaining four were from France, India, Singapore and South Korea.
- 2002 in aviation
- Aviation safety
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- Eckholm, Erik (8 May 2002). "Chinese Jet, Carrying 112, Crashes in Sea Near the Coast". The New York Times. NYTimes Co. Retrieved 19 April 2017.
- "No survivors in Chinese air crash". BBC News. 8 May 2002. Retrieved 19 April 2017.
- "Money motive in mass murder". China Daily / Shanghai Star. 12 December 2002. Retrieved 19 April 2017.
- "Search for survivors of China Northern plane crash halted". Taipei Times. AP. 9 May 2002. Retrieved 19 April 2017.
- China Northern Airlines Plane Crashes - People's Daily
- Accident database record on airdisaster.com
- Accident aircraft photos from airliners.net