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Heavy smoke pours from Air China plane as passengers board

August 27, 2019
In this photo released by a passenger aboard a plane, shows fire engines as they spray an Air China plane parked at the Beijing International Capital Airport in Beijing, Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2019. Large amounts of smoke have billowed from an Air China plane as passengers were boarding at Beijing's airport. Air China says all passengers were evacuated safely from the plane, which was preparing to fly to Tokyo. (AP Photo)
In this photo released by a passenger aboard a plane, shows fire engines as they spray an Air China plane parked at the Beijing International Capital Airport in Beijing, Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2019. Large amounts of smoke have billowed from an Air China plane as passengers were boarding at Beijing's airport. Air China says all passengers were evacuated safely from the plane, which was preparing to fly to Tokyo. (AP Photo)

BEIJING (AP) — Large amounts of smoke billowed from an Air China plane Tuesday as passengers boarded at Beijing’s airport.

All passengers were evacuated safely from the plane, which was preparing to fly to Tokyo, Air China said in a statement on its social media page.

The smoke came from the plane’s front cargo hold and the crew quickly took firefighting measures, the airline said, adding that the cause is under investigation.

Photographs and videos taken by witnesses showed the top part of the plane cloaked in smoke and heavily damaged.

In 2015, a man attempted to start a fire on board a Chinese flight but was restrained by passengers and crew members and taken into custody. China bans the carrying of cigarette lighters and flammable substances, including spirits, aboard all flights.

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