It’s rare that you see such a willingness to display the worst side of a company: On Tuesday night, 42 people were killed and 54 more were injured when Henan Airlines’ jet crashed and burst into flames while trying to land in Heilongjiang, China. Sometime between then and today, Henan Airlines changed its website to put the crash front and center.
According to Xinhua, the jet “broke into two pieces while it was approaching the runway. Some passengers were thrown out of the cabin before the broken jet crashed to the ground… Witnesses said a huge blaze enveloped the wreckage and the flames reddened the surrounding forests. The blaze had been put out before dawn Wednesday.” By earlier today, Henan Airlines’ president was removed and the entire company ceased operation.
But in case you doubted witness and news accounts, you could just head over to Henan Airlines’ website, which features a splash page with a collage of the burning wreckage front and center. The main headline says “Very deep sorrow over Henan Airlines’ 8.24 air crash” and the rest of the text contains contact information and the most basic details of the crash.
While I understand feeling the need to put up a tribute, this is quite a strange one. NYC Aviation argues that they should “fire their PR team ASAP,” but I’m guessing this probably isn’t their work anyhow. Either Henan Airlines has completely folded and some official has put this up, or the website was hacked by someone who wanted to express grief over the crash.