the ponyboy chronicles

Actor Howell feared dead in crash
May 7, 2002 Posted: 2:18 PM EDT (1930 GMT)

DALIAN, China (LBOZ) -- A China Northern Airlines plane with 112 people on board crashed into the sea Tuesday off the coast of the city of Dalian in Liaoning Province. Actor C. Thomas Howell, a film star known for roles in "Red Dawn" and "The Outsiders," is said to have been on board the flight.

The Xinhua News Agency reported at least six bodies had been found and local officials were saying prospects were dim for any of the people aboard the plane. At press time, Howell's body had not been identified among those retrieved.

The agency said the plane crashed after the captain reported a fire in the cabin. Local officials said more than 30 boats have been dispatched to the Dalian Bay area in search of survivors.

Xinhua quoted airline officials as saying there were 103 passengers plus a crew of nine aboard the plane. A spokesman for China Northern confirmed that Howell was on the flight roster, but could not immediately say whether the popular actor had boarded his scheduled flight. There were no immediate reports of deaths or injuries.

The plane was on a flight from Beijing when it went down about 20 kilometers east of Dalian, in northeast China. Dalian is a coastal resort city. Howell was in Beijing researching a film project he was developing for the cable network Showtime.

The plane was an MD-82, Flight 6136. According to Boeing spokesman Tom Ryan, the plane was delivered by McDonnell-Douglas in July 1991. It had 26,000 hours and was operated for China Northern Airlines.

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