Seaplane crashes on inaugural flight in China, killing 5

BEIJING (AP) — A seaplane making its inaugural flight crashed into a highway bridge outside Shanghai on Wednesday, killing five people on board, state media reported.

The Cessna 208B operated by Joy Air General Air was carrying two crew members and eight invited guests, according to the state-run news site The Paper.

The other five on board were sent to hospital for treatment, The Paper said.

A woman who answered the phone at Joy Air’s offices declined to give any information, saying all company executives were at the crash site. Joy Air, China’s largest seaplane operator, did not release an official statement. The Paper said the cause of the crash was under investigation.

The seaplane took off from suburban Shanghai’s Jinshan district and was bound for the Zhoushan islands, about 75 kilometers (47 miles) to the south, The Paper reported.

The route is designed for tourists and sightseers who want to escape to the islands from the sprawling financial center.

Local media were invited to tour the seaplane before it took off as part of a publicity campaign to promote the airline’s new coastal service.