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Taiwan plane crash: More flights cancelled

Taiwan plane crash

Taiwan's TransAsia Airlines said yesterday it would cancel 52 flights early next week, in addition to the 90 already cancelled, after one of its aircraft crashed into a river in Taipei last week.

At least 40 of the 58 people on board were killed.

On Friday, Taiwan's Aviation Safety Council said the preliminary findings of the black box showed that the almost-new turboprop ATR 72-600 failed to produce enough thrust after take-off, revealing one engine was turned off and restarted.

Rescuers pull a passenger out of the TransAsia Airways plane which crash landed in a river, in New Taipei City. Photo: Reuters

 

Warning signals had blared in the cockpit and the left engine was then shut down manually by the crew for unknown reasons, Taiwan's Aviation Safety Council said.

Ms Amy Chen, a vice-president of the Taipei-based airline, said: 

"We've cancelled 90 flights in the last three days. We'll cancel another 52 on Monday and Tuesday combined."

Rescuers have recovered 40 bodies, but three are still missing.

More than 160 divers searched the chilly waters yesterday for their bodies. Fifteen people survived the crash.

Rescuers pray near the bodies of victims from the Transasia ATR 72-600 turboprop plane crash in the Keelung river in New Taipei City on Feb 6. Photo: AFP

 

The airline said it has scheduled four memorial services for the victims.

Aviation authorities have said that TransAsia Airways failed to meet around a third of the regulatory requirements imposed after another fatal crash in Taiwan's western Penghu islands in July that killed 48 people.

Taiwan's aviation authorities have ordered TransAsia pilots to take proficiency tests, according to the Civil Aeronautics Administration.

Tests for its 71 ATR pilots began on Saturday, but more domestic flights could be hit if the tests cannot be completed in four days as scheduled. 
- Wires

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