The China Southwest Airlines flight went down at 4:20 p.m. near its destination of Wenzhou, a city in coastal Zhejiang province about 800 miles southeast of Beijing, Xinhua said.

The Russian-made Tupolev-154 had taken off from the southwest city of Chengdu and was carrying 50 passengers and 11 crew, the agency said. The plane is about the same size and weight as the Boeing 727.

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