5 killed after seaplane hits bridge on maiden flight

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Wreckage of the 9-seat Cessna 208B propeller seaplane is being salvaged after its fatal crash during maiden flight today in Jinshan District, leaving 5 on board killed. – Xinhua

Five people died after a seaplane crashed into a bridge during a trial flight of the service in Shanghai's Jinshan District today.

The US Cessna 208B propeller seaplane owned by Joy General Aviation based in neighboring Zhoushan Archipelago crashed into the No. 7835 Bridge along the Shanghai-Hangzhou Expressway at the Hangzhou Bay at 12:20pm during its takeoff from the Jinshan City Beach for a trial flight, the district government said.

There were 10 people onboard, including eight passengers, the captain and the copilot. All of them were rushed to the Jinshan Hospital by 2:20pm.

Five of them were pronounced dead in hospital, including the copilot. As for the others, one is still in serious condition while the others were slightly injured, the Shanghai Health and Family Planning Commission said.

The cause of the accident is still under investigation.

The 30-million-yuan seaplane that can serve eight passengers and two crew members was scheduled to operate a new charter sightseeing flight route between Zhoushan and the city's Jinshan District. It takes about 30 minutes to fly between Jinshan and Zhoushan.

Another seaplane in the same type took off 10 minutes before the accident for a maiden flight from the Jinshan beach to the Shengsi County of Zhoushan.

The Joy General Aviation is a subsidiary of the Joy Air under the Aviation Industry Corporation of China. It is now operating short sightseeing routes among islands of the Zhoushan Archipelago.

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