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More than 40 feared dead as plane crashes in Taiwan

12.30AM UPDATE:

A twin-engine ATR-72 turboprop aircraft with Taiwan’s TransAsia Airways crashed at around 7pm on Wednesday​ while attempting to land in stormy weather.

It was flying from Kaohsiung in southern Taiwan to Penghu Islands in the west with 58 passengers and crew on board.

More than 10 bodies have been recovered from the debris. Twelve people have been sent to hospitals and the rest remain missing, according to Taiwan’s transport authority.

Previous reports said 47 people were killed and 11 injured. 

China's Taiwan affairs chief Zhang Zhijun conveyed his condolences to his Taiwan counterpart Wang Yu-chi over the loss of lives. He said the China stood ready to provide any assistance.

The Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits, meanwhile, also sent a message to the Taiwan-based Straits Exchange Foundation to express condolences to the families of the crash victims.

Passengers included two French nationals, according to Taiwan’s transport authorities. No one from China was onboard the plane.

The flight requested to circle above before trying to land at Magong Airport, but lost contact with the tower, said Jean Shen, director general of Taiwan’s civil aeronautics administration, at a press conference.

The accident happened as typhoon Matmo arrived in the island with heavy rains and strong winds, shutting financial markets and schools.

Names of the passengers on the flight have reportedly been published by local media.

 

 

 

 

The black box has been found.

 

 

More photos of the crash are also available.

 

 

Part of the plane found at the crash site.

The wreckage of TransAsia Airways flight GE222 which crashed in Penghu islands.

Rescue personnel surveying the wreckage.

The wreckage of TransAsia Airways flight GE222.

Rescue workers searching for survivors after the crash.

A car covered in rubble after the crash.

A relative of a passenger on board the crashed TransAsia Airways plane crying in Kaohsiung International Airport.

Source: Xinhua


11PM UPDATE: 47 killed, 11 taken to hospital

A domestic TransAsia Airways plane crashed on landing on an island off the west coast of typhoon-hit Taiwan on Wednesday, killing 47 people, the Civil Aeronautics Administration said.

The plane, a 70-seat turboprop ATR 72, crashed near the runway with 54 passengers and four crew on board, it said.

"It’s chaotic on the scene," director Jean Shen told Reuters.

Eleven injured people had been taken to hospital, the government said.

The accident happened on one of the Penghu islands, also known as the Pescadores. No more details were immediately available.

Typhoon Matmo slammed into Taiwan on Wednesday with heavy rains and strong winds, shutting financial markets and schools.

TransAsia Airways is a Taiwan-based airline with a fleet of around 23 Airbus and ATR aircraft, flying chiefly on domestic routes, but with some flights to Japan, Thailand and Cambodia among its Asian destinations.

Apart from Wednesday's event, Taiwan's aviation safety council says TransAsia has had a total of 8 incidents since 2002, including 6 involving the ATR 72.

Fresh pictures have also been coming in through Twitter.

 

10PM: Taiwan plane crash lands 51 feared dead

A Transasia Airways plane crashed while making an emergency landing in Taiwan on Wednesday, killing 51 people, China's Xinhua news agency said.

Taiwan media said a domestic flight had crashed on the outlying island county of Penghu, local media reported.

"Fifty-one people are feared dead and seven people injured," Taiwan's Civil Aeronautics Administration Shen Chi told reporters, but the local fire chief put the death toll at 45. ​

The plane was carrying 54 passengers and four crew, according to local fire department.

Local media report that the pilot was experiencing difficulties landing the plane in Penghu due to a typhoon, which was ravaging the area.

Satellite image of the storm on July 22. Photo: NOAA Environmental Visualization Laboratory​

The forecasted path of Typhoon Matmo​. Photo: Joint Typhoon Warning Center

Some tweets have started coming in reported showing the damage as the plane appears to have crashed into a residential area.

Source: Xinhua, Reuters