A Taiwan plane crash involving TransAsia Airways occurred at Magong airport Wednesday with 54 people on board.
Focus Taiwan reports that four crew members and 54 passengers were on the TransAsia Airways plane. The report goes on to say that there’s an “uncertain” number of people killed or injured from the wreck, but authorities believe as many as 51 people on-board died.
Flight 222 was flying in bad weather caused by Typhoon Matmo, according to Jean Shen, director-general of the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA). Flight GE 222 requested a go-around from the tower when it attempted landing at Magong airport at 7:06 pm in inclement weather. Shen says the plane “lost contact” with the tower when the airliner was about 300-feet above ground before it crashed.
Shen adds that the ATR-72 was 14 years-old. An emergency meeting has been called by the Aviation Safety Council to learn what caused the Taiwan plane crash.
An in-depth report from The Telegraph reveals that the 72-seater plane carrying 54 passengers had four children aboard.
Flight 222 was flying from Kaohsiung to the island Penghu, which is halfway between the China mainland and Taiwan in the Taiwan Strait.
A large blaze burst after the plane crashed into the Xixi village outside of the airport following the failed landing. Emergency responders rushed to the scene searching for survivors. Firefighters put the death toll at 45, but it’s believed more than that were killed.
Shen tells Reuters that getting an exact number is difficult right now. He says:
“It’s chaotic on the scene. The fire department was putting out the flames. They will give us the number of casualties very soon.”
The Central Weather Bureau had advised of heavy rain through the evening due to Typhoon Matmo that hit the region Tuesday. At the time, the center of the storm was in mainland China.
At this point, the number of those dead is anywhere between 45 and 50, according to numerous reports. Until flames on the aircraft are extinguished, an accurate count won’t be determined, as this is a developing story.
Reuters reports that TransAsia Airways has had a total of eight incidents since 2002, with six involving the ATR 72.
The Taiwan plane crash happens less than a week after the tragic Malaysian Airlines crash of Flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine that killed nearly 300 people. The airliner was downed by a Buk missile in the middle of a war zone during conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
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