A Chinese military aircraft crashed in the southwestern province of Guizhou during a training exercise on Monday, the People’s Liberation Army Air Force said.

Hong Kong-based Phoenix TV showed footage on its website of an aircraft ablaze mid-flight, while several other unverified clips of burning debris and a huge plume of smoke in a rural area circulated online from the late afternoon.

The online videos also showed a dozen or so onlookers walking in muddy ground dotted with burning debris. The Beijing News reported that the aircraft crashed in Zhengchang township, Suiyang county.

There were no reports of casualties by late Monday and the air force did not specify the aircraft involved.

“A plane from the air force crashed during a domestic flying exercise in Guizhou. [The authorities] are putting full effort into the rescue operation,” the air force said in a brief online statement.

The military has increased the frequency and intensity of training in response to Chinese President Xi Jinping’s call to turn the PLA into a combat-ready and modern fighting force.

People examine the crash site in Suiyang county, Guizhou province. Photo: Phoenix TV

Official mouthpieces had warned that accidents were expected to rise as a result of the ramped-up training.

In April 2016, a carrier-based J-15 fighter jet pilot died in a crash during a simulated deck landing exercise at an unspecified inland base.