At Least 10 Dead After TransAsia Plane Clips Bridge, Crashes in Taiwan River

More than 10 people were killed after a TransAsia plane crashed into a river in Taiwan just a few minutes after takeoff.

At least ten people were killed after a TransAsia plane with 58 passengers and crew on board crashed into a river in downtown Taipei, Taiwan’s fire department said on Wednesday.

TransAsia Flight GE235 took off from Taipei at around 10.53am and was moving to to the island of Kinmen when the incident happened.

The terrible catastrophy was caught on camera, so the footage reveals the ATR-72-600 prop-jet aircraft flying on its side, with one wing scraping past Taiwan’s busy National Freeway No. 1 just seconds before it plunged into the river.

Reports suggest that the plane hit part of a motorway overpass and then plummeted into a section of the Keelung river around 3 miles from the airport. There were 53 passengers, including two children, and five crew on the plane.

A witness told local news agency taht he had saw the horror from his 25th floor office as the plane came down.

“The whole thing was open in 5 to 10 seconds,” he told Taiwan’s CTITV. “I saw the flight hit the viaduct and fall into the river. I saw a big splash.”

A passing driver captured the incident with a camera placed on their dashboard.

A photograph took to a social network to show the crumpled bonnet of a Volkswagen taxi that the plane had also reportedly clipped as it came down.

 

A spokesman for Crown Taxis, the company, reported that its driver had been taken to Zhong Xiao hospital in Taipei where he was under observation.

“He was hit on the head,” said Mr Yang, a company representative.

Local television obtained photos showing rescuers and orange life vests attempting to extract people from the plane’s semi-submerged fuselage.

A helicopter hovered overhead as red dinghies were used to carry victims to shore.

Wu Jun-Hong, a Taipei Fire Department official who heads the rescue operation, said the victims were among 27 people pulled from the plane. The 31 people who remained unaccounted for either were still in the fuselage or had been pulled downriver, he said.

“At the moment, things don’t look too optimistic,” Wu told reporters at the scene. “Those in the front of the plane are likely to have lost their lives.”

Taipei mayor Ke Wenzhe told journalists that about three dozen of aircraft passangers had been pulled from the wreckage, of whom 9 died before reaching the hospital. The extent of the survivors’ injuries was not immediately clear. Thirty passengers were missing.

Thirty-one of passangers appeared to be tourists from Mainland China, according to Chinese media reports.

Weng Kaikai, who knew one Chinese passenger, took to Facebook to celebrate after learning his friend had survived from a television report. “My friend is alive,” he wrote, according to Hong Kong’s Apple Daily. “I almost burst into tears.”

The causes of the incidents remain unclear but FlightRadar24.com, a specialist website, supposes that the plane had attempted to turn back before its crashed into the river and had been in the air for less than three minutes.

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