Plane crashes in Taiwan, 47 trapped, feared dead
TAIPEI, Taiwan — A plane landing in stormy weather crashed outside an airport on a small Taiwanese island late Wednesday, and the transport minister said 47 people were trapped and feared dead.
Another 11 people were injured when the ATR-72 operated by Taiwan's TransAsia Airways crashed on Penghu, an island in the Taiwan Strait between Taiwan and China, Transport Minister Yeh Kuang-shih was quoted as saying by the government's Central News Agency. The plane was arriving from Kaohsiung, a city in southern Taiwan.
The twin-engine turboprop plane crashed while making a second landing attempt with a total of 58 passengers and crew members aboard, according to Yeh.
The news agency had earlier quoted a local fire chief as saying 51 people had been killed.
The plane crashed in the village of Xixi outside the airport. Photos in local media showed firefighters using flashlights to look at wreckage in the darkness, and buildings and cars damaged by debris.
About 200 military personnel were sent to help recover the people who were on the plane, Taiwanese Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Luo Shou-he said, according to the Central News Agency.
The ministry said military vehicles and ambulances were rushing people to hospitals and an air force rescue team was on standby to transfer survivors to Taiwan's main island if needed for treatment, the agency reported.
The flight left Kaohsiung at 4:53 p.m. for Magong on Penghu, according to the head of Taiwan's Civil Aeronautics Administration, Jean Shen. The plane lost contact with the tower at 7:06 p.m. after saying it would make a second landing attempt.
Visibility as the plane approached was 1,600 meters (one mile), which met standards for landing, and two flights had landed before GE222, one at 5:34 p.m. and the other at 6:57 p.m., the aviation agency reported.
But the Central News Agency, citing the county fire department, said it appeared heavy rain reduced visibility and the pilot was forced to pull up and make the second landing attempt.
Taiwan was battered by Typhoon Matmo early Tuesday morning, and the Central Weather Bureau warned of heavy rain through the evening, even after the center of the storm had moved west to mainland China.
Shen said the plane was 14 years old.
In October 2013, a Lao Airlines ATR-72 crashed during a heavy storm as it approached Pakse Airport in southern Laos, killing all 49 people on board.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Signs of steady U.S. economy: Pay, home sales up, unemployment applications down
- Friends, family, history lure natives back to Western Pennsylvania
- Crosby scores twice, Malkin delivers OT goal as Penguins beat Blues
- Steelers veteran linebacker Harrison focused on stretch run
- ’Tis the season to put retailers in the black
- Mt. Pleasant plan has no call for tax increase
- Smartphones expected to overtake desktops for holiday shopping
- Puppies’ eyes glued shut, South Huntingdon animal shelter says
- Roundup: Toyota recalls vehicles in Japan, Europe for air bag defect; American Airlines stops taking payment in Argentine currency
- Keystone Bakery closes Greensburg store
- Steelers notebook: Tomlin ends practice with third-down work