TransAsia Airways Plane Crash Kills 48 Onboard And Injures 11

Over 40 people onboard a TransAsia plane flying to a Taiwanese island were killed on 23 July 2014 when the aircraft crashed in bad weather during a failed emergency landing.

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Black Boxes From TransAsia Airways Plane Crash Are Being Investigated For Clues

A man stands in his backyard and looks at the wreckage of a TransAsia Airways turboprop plane that crashed on Taiwan's offshore island Penghu

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Investigators are examining wreckage and flight data recorders for clues into a plane crash on a Taiwanese island that killed 48 people. Stormy weather and low visibility are suspected as factors in Wednesday's crash of the twin propeller ATR-72 operated by TransAsia Airways.

Local media reported Friday that the plane's cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder had been sent to the main island of Taiwan for analysis. Investigators searched for other clues at the crash site on the island of Penghu in the Taiwan Strait west of the capital Taipei.

The airline's chairman Vincent Lin visited grieving relatives gathered at a local funeral home and said the company would do all it could to aid them in their suffering.

A TransAsia Plane Crashed While Trying To Land At Magong Airport On The Outlying Penghu Island, Taiwan, Hours After Typhoon Matmo Battered The Region. According To Reports, The Accident Happened On Wednesday Evening, 23 July.

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The TransAsia Airways twin turboprop was flying from the southern Taiwan city of Kaohsiung, on the main island, to Magong on the Penghu Islands in rain and heavy winds as Typhoon Matmo passed through the region. Gusts approaching 40 miles per hour were reported.

The domestic 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.
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The majority of the 54 passengers on board the ATR-72, a twin-engine turboprop, were from the island. Two passengers were French.

As Per Initial Reports, Aviation Officials Said Flight GE222 Aborted Its Initial Landing And Then Crashed. Transport Minister Yeh Kuang-Shih Said That 47 People Were Killed And 11 Were Injured.

Rescue workers survey the wreckage of TransAsia Airways Flight GE 222, which crashed Wednesday while trying to land in stormy weather on the Taiwanese island of Penghu.

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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.

The plane made one aborted effort to land in heavy rain and winds of roughly 30mph, in the aftermath of Typhoon Matmo, which passed over the island a day earlier. As it made its second attempt it lost contact with the control tower and fell almost 100ft into two houses in the neighbouring village of Xixi, roughly 700ft away from the north end of the runway.

News Footage From Magong Showed The Badly Damaged Fuselage Of The Plane Resting On A Wall Amid Houses. Injured Passengers Were Seen Climbing Out Of The Damaged plane.

According To A Witness Named Hsueh De-chong: "The Fire Was Extremely Big. It Burned Even In The Heavy Rain."

The wreckage of the plane caught in the fire

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“I heard a huge crash,” said one villager in Xixi, named as Mr Wang, on Taiwanese television. “At first I thought it was thunder but then I smelt gas. Then I saw the fire outside and there were passengers covered in blood crawling from the plane. Then there was a second explosion.”

Another villager, named Mr Chen, also said he had seen passengers coming out of the wreckage and that one of the plane’s propellers had landed on his doorstep. There were no immediate reports of casualties in the village.

One unnamed man interviewed on television at the local hospital said his daughter had called him shortly after the crash to tell him what had happened. “I only live two minutes from where the plane crashed,” he said. “She said the plane had exploded but she had crawled out. She asked me to come and get her. When I got there, they were putting out the fire and my daughter had been taken to hospital. She is in a stable condition but has some burns. I could make out the shape of a plane, but it was all black,” he added.

PHOTO: This Car - Photographed In Torrential Rain - Was Covered In Rubble Caused By The Crash On Penghu

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"It Was Thunderstorm Conditions During The Crash," Said Hsi Wen-guang, Penghu County Government Fire Bureau Spokesman

"From the crash site we sent 11 people to hospital with injuries. A few empty apartment buildings adjacent to the runway caught fire, but no-one was inside at the time and the fire was extinguished."

TransAsia Airways' General Manager Hsu Yi-Tsung Has Tearfully Apologised For The Accident, Pledging To Spare No Effort In The Rescue Operation And To Transport Relatives Of Passengers On The Flight To Magong On Thursday Morning

Grief-stricken relatives of people on board the flight had to be comforted by staff in Kaohsiung International Airport

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TransAsia’s general manager, Hsu Yi-tsung, appeared before reporters in Taipei and bowed in apology for the crash. Local television showed one woman, Hsu Yu-jie, a 34-year-old employee of the Penghu County accounting and statistics department, collapsing in tears as airline personnel tried to console her. “My daughter,” she said, sobbing.

The two pilots of the plane were experienced. Captain Li Yiliang, 60, a former pilot in the Taiwanese air force, had a reported 22,000 hours of flying time.

PHOTO: Sheng Ching, The Director Of Taiwan's Civil Aeronautics Administration, Addressed Reporters At The Sungshan Airport In Taipei On Wednesday

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Earlier On Wednesday, Taiwan Was Battered By Strong Winds And Rain From A Tropical Storm, Typhoon Matmo

his was the radar near the time of the crash of this plane in Taiwan.

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Typhoon Matmo, packing sustained winds of 85 mph, was approaching Taiwan and forecast to hit its east-central coast Wednesday morning. Torrential rains, exceeding 7.8 inches over 24 hours, were forecast for virtually the entire island. Some areas of Taiwan are mountainous and prone to mudslides.

A motorcyclist stops in the rain brought by Typhoon Matmo in Xindien district in New Taipei City on July 23, 2014. Typhoon Matmo pounded Taiwan with fierce winds and downpours

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However, an official at the Civil Aeronautics Administration told Reuters that bad weather at the time of the crash did not exceed international regulations for landing. 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.

TransAsia Is A 63-Year-Old Private Airline That Flies Mainly In Taiwan But Also Has Routes To China, Japan And Southeast Asia. It Flies A Dozen Airbus Jets And 10 Turboprops From The French-Italian Manufacturer ATR.

The Penghu Islands

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The ATR-72, which is used for short-haul domestic flights, has a patchy safety record. Last October, Lao Airlines Flight 301 crashed into the Mekong river, killing all 49 on board. In February 2013, an Alitalia ATR-72 crashed on landing in Rome, injuring 16. In April 2012, UTair Flight 120 crashed after take-off in Western Siberia killing 33 people.

TransAsia has had at least one previous fatal crash with an ATR. In 2002, an ATR 72-200 freight aircraft with two pilots crashed into the sea near the Penghu Islands while traveling between Taipei and Macau. Severe icing was believed to be the cause of that crash.