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Digital Archive International History Declassified

April 12, 1955

CABLE FROM YUAN ZHONGXIN, 'PLANE CRASH SITUATION REPORT'

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    Yuan Zhongxin reports on an airplane carrying Chinese, Indian, Vietnamese, and Polish personnel to the Asian-African Conference which crashed into the sea near India.
    "Cable from Yuan Zhongxin, 'Plane Crash Situation Report'," April 12, 1955, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, PRC FMA 207-00061-05, 10-11. Translated by Jeffrey Wang. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/114669
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Forward to: [Chen] Jiakang, Huang Hua, Gong Peng, could Yang Section Chief please forward to Xie Fuzhi

Classification: Rush

From: India

Date: 1955, April, 12

Forwarded to: Chairman, [Liu] Shaoqi, [Zhou] Enlai, Zhu De, Chen Yun, [Peng] Dehuai, [Deng] Xiaoping, Chen Yi, [Xi] Zhongxun, [Yang] Shangkun, Foreign Ministry, Su Yu, [Wang] Jiaxiang, [Li] Kenong, Central Propaganda, Foreign Commerce Department, [Wu] Lengxi

Plane Crash Situation Report

To the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ambassador Yao [Zhongming]:

This morning at 10 we learned from the Indian Foreign Ministry and the Airline company the following situation with the loss of the [Lockheed] Constellation type aircraft:

1. Onboard the aircraft are two Polish reporters, one Vietnamese, Eight Chinese, and Eight Indian crew members.

2. The aircraft at one point had reported failure of some components, soon after the aircraft sent three emergency signals of distress. At 0925 GMT contact was lost [with the aircraft]; location [where contact was lost] is on the surface of the sea, approximately 100 miles north of Sarawak state, Borneo. It was said that fishers from local islands witnessed the crash of the aircraft into the sea. The [above mentioned] fishers then sent ships to rescue survivors but they found only luggage, no survivors.

3. According to [reports], Indonesia and Singapore have sent specialized planes to the region for rescue [purposes]. Last night Air India International Company already dispatched a high ranking employee on a special plane to Singapore.

4. Kaul of the Indian Foreign Ministry feels that although every party is still continuing rescue efforts, hope is slim; to this the Indian government offers their deepest condolences.

Yuan [Zhongxin]

12 April [1955]

10:30