Skip to main content

Taiwan plane crash kills 48 and injures 10

July 24, 2014 -- Updated 2142 GMT (0542 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • 48 people killed and 10 injured when plane tried to land in Taiwanese island
  • TransAsia Airways Flight GE 222 attempted to land twice, state news agency reports
  • Taiwan's transportation minister says there were no casualties on the ground
  • Cause of accident is under investigation

(CNN) -- At least 48 people were killed and 10 injured when a twin-engine turboprop plane crashed while attempting to land in Penghu Islands, according to Taiwan's Civil Aeronautics Administration.

TransAsia Airways Flight GE 222 was preparing to land at Magong Airport in heavy rain on Wednesday and had asked for its second go-around before the accident occurred, according to Taiwan's Central News Agency.

Visibility at the airport during the plane's attempted landing was about 1,600 meters (1 mile) and considered acceptable for landing, Jean Shen, Taiwan's Civil Aeronautics Administration director told reporters.

Two days, two plane crashes
Map: Magong  Map: Magong
Map: MagongMap: Magong
Rescue workers and firefighters search through the wreckage of TransAsia Airways flight GE222 on Thursday, July 24, after it crashed near the airport at Magong on the Penghu island chain a day before. The domestic TransAsia Airways flight was carrying 54 passengers and four crew members when it crashed in the Penghu island chain. There were 10 survivors. Rescue workers and firefighters search through the wreckage of TransAsia Airways flight GE222 on Thursday, July 24, after it crashed near the airport at Magong on the Penghu island chain a day before. The domestic TransAsia Airways flight was carrying 54 passengers and four crew members when it crashed in the Penghu island chain. There were 10 survivors.
Taiwan plane crash
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
>
>>
Taiwan plane crash Taiwan plane crash
Was weather a factor in Taiwan crash?
What is a black box anyway?

Transportation officials arrived Thursday morning to investigate the disaster and assist in relief work. The cause of the crash remains unclear and authorities have identified 14 of the 48 killed, according to CNA.

The flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder have been sent to Taipei, the agency reported.

The plane, an ATR 72-500, carried 54 passengers and four crew members.

The domestic flight, which took off from Kaohsiung, Taiwan, had been delayed because of conditions related to a typhoon, the airline said. Typhoon Matmo had struck Taiwan on Wednesday.

Typhoon Matmo threatens mudslides in Taiwan

"Yesterday was an extremely painful day for Taiwan," its President Ma Ying-jeou posted on his official Facebook page, adding that the typhoon had injured 17 people.

"After hearing of the tragedy, and watching relatives break down on TV news, I believe many Taiwanese were the same as me, passing a heartbroken and sleepless night."

Grief in Taiwan

Family members crumpled to the ground, overtaken with grief of losing of loved ones, in footage shown on CNN's affiliate, ETTV.

TransAsia Airways sent families of the victims on a chartered flight to Penghu Islands, the site of the crash, which is located off the west coast of the main Taiwanese island.

The pilots of Flight GE 222 were identified as Lee Yi-liang, who had 22 years of flight experience, and co-pilot Chiang Kuna-hsing who had two-and-a-half years of experience, according to CNA.

Friends of one of the crew members posted on his Facebook page, "Come back" and "Rest in peace."

Also aboard the plane was Yen Ken-chuang, an 82-year-old Taiwanese wood architect, according to the Ministry of Culture's Bureau of Cultural Heritage, CNA reported.

It also reported that a local firefighter, Lee Ming-tsun, 47, was pulled from the wreckage by his colleagues. Lee was a leader of one of the divisions, and was returning from his holiday.

French passengers identified as Jeromine Deramond and Penelope Luternauer died in the plane crash, according to CNA. They were on a one-month exchange program in the field of medicine in Taiwan.

"TransAsia Airways is exhausting all means to assist passengers, victims and families" and working with investigators, an airline statement read.

The airline's president, Chooi Yee-choong appeared briefly at a news conference and bowed in front of news cameras. He choked up as he expressed his sorrow to passengers' families and the public.

"I sincerely apologize," he said.

Crash site

Footage on scene showed the plane had crashed in a residential area and broken into pieces. Witnesses told CNN affiliate ETTV that they saw homes on fire after the plane crashed around 7 p.m. The fallen plane destroyed or damaged 11 houses, EETV reported.

There were no casualties on the ground, said Taiwan's Transportation Minister Yeh Kuang-shih. Five residents were injured, but they were discharged from local hospitals.

The ATR 72-500 plane was delivered to Taiwan's TransAsia Airways from the production line in 2000, according to the aircraft maker.

Xi Jinping, China's president expressed his condolences saying he was "deeply grieved" by the accident.

CNN's Zoe Li, Dayu Zhang and Ashley Fantz contributed to this report.

Part of complete coverage on
Air mysteries & disasters
August 6, 2014 -- Updated 1559 GMT (2359 HKT)
One of the key questions asked after any serious airline incident is, how do we stop this happening again?
March 14, 2014 -- Updated 0342 GMT (1142 HKT)
Here are nine cases of mysterious plane disappearances and disasters. Some remain unsolved, decades later.
October 2, 2014 -- Updated 1420 GMT (2220 HKT)
Everything you need to know about the boxes that are key to every plane crash investigation.
April 11, 2014 -- Updated 0412 GMT (1212 HKT)
After air disasters, protocol, technology and laws are often changed to avert similar incidents. Here are some examples.
July 22, 2014 -- Updated 2220 GMT (0620 HKT)
Amid the chaos and the grief, the politics and the finger pointing, we are no closer to answering some key questions about the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17.
July 24, 2014 -- Updated 0700 GMT (1500 HKT)
When passengers boarded Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 last week, they couldn't have known they were about to fly over a battlefield.
July 8, 2013 -- Updated 2239 GMT (0639 HKT)
CNN's Brian Todd describes techniques that could help you survive a plane disaster.
August 21, 2014 -- Updated 2048 GMT (0448 HKT)
Here's a look at what you need to know about commercial passenger airplane crashes.
July 10, 2013 -- Updated 1034 GMT (1834 HKT)
I didn't expect my 5-year-old daughter to first learn about airplane crashes while we were in the air.
July 16, 2014 -- Updated 0001 GMT (0801 HKT)
On July 17, 1996, TWA Flight 800 took off from JFK Airport headed for Paris. Just 12 minutes later, it exploded over the shores of Long Island, New York. There were 230 people on board, and no one survived.
March 19, 2014 -- Updated 1239 GMT (2039 HKT)
I'm a little nervous about flying right now.
ADVERTISEMENT