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Taiwan plane crash 'kills dozens'

BBC Online
Plane that crashed on Taiwanese island, killing 51, plowed into homes. Photo taken fron USA Today tweet
Plane that crashed on Taiwanese island, killing at least 40 people, plowed into homes. Photo taken fron USA Today tweet

A passenger plane has crashed after a failed emergency landing in Taiwan, killing more than 40 people, local officials say.

The domestic TransAsia Airways flight crashed near Magong airport on the outlying Penghu island, reports said.

There were a total of 54 passengers and four crew on board, Taiwan's CNA news agency reported.

Aviation officials said flight GE222 aborted its initial landing and then crashed, local media reported.

Transport minister Yeh Kuang-Shih said that 47 people were killed and 11 were injured, CNA reported.

The agency previously said that 51 were feared killed, citing fire department officials.

"It's chaotic [at] the scene," Jean Shen, director of the Civil Aeronautics Administration, told Reuters news agency.

'PLANE IN FLAMES'

Firefighters and other emergency personnel are attempting to rescue those on board.

A photo published by local media showed firefighters examining the debris, with light being shone to illuminate the wreckage in the darkness.

The ATR 72 turboprop aircraft departed from the southern municipality of Kaohsiung at 17:43 local time (09:43 GMT), but lost contact with controllers at 19:06, CNA said, citing the Civil Aeronautics Administration.

The plane was found at Penghu island's Xixi village in flames, local media reported.

 

David Vargas, a spokesman for the manufacturer ATR, told the BBC's Chinese service: "We are aware of the crash. We are trying to get more information and confirm what went wrong."

Earlier on Wednesday, Taiwan was battered by strong winds and rain from a tropical storm, Typhoon Matmo.

Typhoon Matmo had caused many flights to be cancelled but the land warning was lifted around 17:30 local time, around the time the plane took off, the BBC's Cindy Sui in Taipei reports.

 

Published: 8:14 pm Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Last modified: 10:10 pm Wednesday, July 23, 2014

TAGS: plane crash Taiwan TransAsia Airways Penghu island CNA

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