At least 22 dead as Taiwan plane plunges into river

TAIPEI:
At least 22 people were killed today when a turboprop passenger plane operated by TransAsia Airways clipped an overpass and plunged into a river in Taiwan, in the airline’s second crash in just seven months.
Desperate crew shouted “Mayday! Mayday! Engine flameout!” according to a recording thought to be the final message from the cockpit to the control tower played on local television.
A “flameout” is when the flame that normally burns in the engine goes out, causing engine failure. Twin-engined planes are usually able to fly on one engine.
Aviation officials said they had not released the cockpit recording, suggesting that it may have come from amateurs monitoring the radio.
Dramatic amateur video footage showed the TransAsia ATR 72-600 hit an elevated road as it banked side-long towards the water, leaving a trail of debris including a smashed taxi.
“I saw a taxi, probably just metres ahead of me, being hit by one wing of the plane. The plane was huge and really close to me. I’m still trembling,” one witness told TVBS news channel.
Rescue officials said that 15 survivors had been pulled out of the wreckage, but that 22 people were believed dead and 21 were still missing. Many of those on board were Chinese tourists.
It was the second serious incident involving a TransAsia Airways plane in a few months after another flight operated by the domestic airline crashed in July during a storm, killing 48 people.
Today’s accident happened just before 11:00 am local time, shortly after Flight GE235 left Songshan airport in northern Taipei en route to the island of Kinmen with 58 people on board, including five crew members.
Six airline officials including chief executive Peter Chen bowed in apology at a televised press conference. (AGENCIES)

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here