Hopes fade for missing in China plane crash


A flotilla of rescue ships has pulled bodies and debris from the China Sea with little hope remaining of finding survivors from a China Northern Airlines plane which crashed with 112 people aboard.

The McDonnell-Douglas MD-82 plunged into the sea moments after a fire was reported in the cabin as it approached the northeast city of Dalian from Beijing last night.

It was China's second major air accident in a month after an Air China Boeing 767 ploughed into a South Korean mountain on April 15th killing 122 people.

"It looks unlikely that we will have any survivors," a rescue official at Dalian port told reporters.

The official Xinhua news agency said a flotilla of more than 30 tugs and warships had so far pulled over 60 bodies from the scene, about six miles off the coast.

Xinhua said debris recovered so far suggested little hope of finding survivors.

The aircraft was carrying 103 passengers and nine crew from Beijing, Xinhua said, and today airline officials pored over passenger lists as relatives of those aboard gathered in Dalian hotels to await news.

The official People's DailyWeb site said eight foreigners - including two from Japan and two from South Korea - had been aboard.