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Unidentified plane crashes in China: reports

An unidentified plane crashed to the ground and exploded in eastern China, state media reported on Tuesday, but the accident remains shrouded in mystery and potential casualties remain unknown.

world Updated: Nov 08, 2011 10:49 IST

An unidentified plane crashed to the ground and exploded in eastern China, state media reported on Tuesday, but the accident remains shrouded in mystery and potential casualties remain unknown.

The crash happened in Zhejiang province near Lishui city on Monday evening amid heavy fog, the state-run China National Radio said, but local residents told AFP that the police quickly sealed the site off to the public.

The Beijing News quoted locals as saying they had seen something that looked like a plane crash on a hilltop. One official at the scene said the plane was not a civilian aircraft, the report said.

Caixin Century magazine, a well established news weekly, speculated the aircraft may be military, privately-owned or for agricultural use.

The defence and agriculture ministries were not immediately available for comment.

When asked about reports of the plane crash, a local government official, who refused to be named, told AFP that an investigation was "on-going" but refused to comment further.

Residents living near the crash site said there was talk about the plane having carried one or two people, but those figures could not be confirmed. Police had sealed off the area, they added.

"The site is blocked off so I am not sure what is going on," one resident, who only identified herself with her surname Hu, told AFP over the phone.

The Hong Kong-based Information Center for Human Rights and Democracy, whose founder has extensive contacts in China, said soldiers had been seen blocking and clearing the scene.

If the aircraft is confirmed as a military plane, this would be the second such incident in just under a month, after a fighter jet plunged to the ground and exploded at an air show in October, killing one of the pilots on board.