Shenzhen Airlines flight ZH9969 which was destined for Beijing caught fire at Shenzhen Airport yesterday during the launch of the auxiliary power units. Twelve passengers received minor injuries while evacuating, Guangzhou Daily reported on its microblog last night.
The accident took place at 18:10 and engineers pledged to work into the night to identify the cause.
The injured were taken to hospital and the other passengers were put on alternative flights.
The nation’s airports are a constant source of drama, mainly due to delayed flights, but the safety record is better than many other countries at a similar stage of development.
The last major air crash in the country took place in August 2010 when a China Eastern flight overshot the runway at Yichun Airport in Heilongjiang Province. Forty-three were killed, ending a five-year record of safe air travel in the country.
Russia, for example, has a much worse record. It saw five separate plane crashes in 2011 alone, leading to 112 fatalities, according to planecrashinfo.com. Journalist, aviator and China watcher James Fallows used this to argue his case that infrastructure spending should be sexy.
Shenzhen Airlines, despite being at the centre of a scandal in 2010 when it emerged that many of its pilots had forged their qualifications, has never been involved in a fatal crash.