Chinese domestic airline crashes with 112 aboard

Associated Press WriterBEIJING (AP) -- A Chinese airliner with 112 people aboard crashed Tuesday night into the water off northeastern China after the captain reported a fire in the cabin, the official Xinhua News Agency said. Rescue efforts were under way, but there was no immediate information about fatalities or survivors.

More than 30 rescue ships were reported on the water headed toward the crash site.

The China Northern Airlines jet crashed in the bay just off Dalian, a port city on the northeastern coast, 280 miles east of Beijing, Xinhua said. The agency said the plane went into Dalian Bay at about 9:40 p.m. after the captain reported a cabin fire.

The plane, identified as China Northern Flight 6136, was an MD-82 airliner, Xinhua said, and was carrying 103 passengers and nine crew from Beijing, the Chinese capital, to Dalian, Xinhua said.

It took off at 8:37 p.m., and air traffic controllers lost contact with the flight at less than an hour later, at 9.32 p.m., Xinhua said.

It said the plane went missing in the sea some 12 miles from Dalian's airport.

The plane was carrying 103 passengers and nine crew, Xinhua said.

Darkness at sea was hindering rescue efforts, Xinhua said. It said most of those aboard were residents of Dalian.