23 Dead As TransAsia Plane Crashes in Taiwan
A TransAsia plane crashed into a river in Taiwan on this morning killing at least 23 people.
The plane was carrying 58 people, when it went down shortly after takeoff. It turned on its side and clipped a bridge before finally crashing into the shallow Keelung River, according to the BBC. According to reports suggest that 15 people survived, but two dozen remain missing.
The last communication from the pilot was “Mayday Mayday engine flameout,” according to an air traffic control recording on liveatc.net. Flight controllers lost contact with the plane at 10:55 a.m. local time.
Emergency officials are currently working to free the passengers who are trapped in the front section of the aircraft.
A volunteer rescuer told Reuters, “I’ve never seen anything like this,”
TransAsia director Peter Chen said in a news conference that the cause of the crash is not known. “This aircraft was the newest model. It hadn’t been used for even a year,” he said, adding that weather conditions were suitable for flying as well.
A video of the crash shared on Facebook shows the plane narrowly missing apartment buildings before landing in the river.
Some reports have suggested that the pilot intentionally aimed for the river when he realized the plane was going down, though that has not been confirmed.
An eyewitness told BBC, “I saw a taxi, probably just meters ahead of me, being hit by one wing of the plane. The plane was huge and really close to me. I’m still trembling.”
Last year July, a TransAsia plane crashed in Taiwan, killing 48 people.