September 19, 2020

TransAsia flight crashes in Taiwan river

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1000TransAsia flight crashes in Taiwan river – as it happened

By Paul Farrell, Matthew Weaver, Michael Safi and Monica Tan From The Guardian

Reports of 23* killed after regional airliner with 58 on board came down in Keelung river in Taipei

[*BBC is reporting: A plane carrying mostly Chinese tourists has crashed into a river in Taiwan, killing at least 31 people.]

At least 23 people are dead after the Taiwanese TransAsia GE235 plane with 58 passengers and crew on board crashed into a Taipei river shortly after take-off on Wednesday, officials and domestic media said. Local media footage shows rescuers finding a baby and other survivors onboard the plane, apparently unhurt

23 dead says Taipei fire department

At least 23 people were killed in the crashed, Taipei’s fire department has confirmed, according to the Straits Times.

As at 6pm, 23 people have been confirmed dead – 14 of them died on the spot, and nine succumbed to their injuries before arriving at hospitals, according to fire department officials at the wreckage site. Twenty people remain missing, while 15 others are injured.

Authorities cannot ascertain if all the missing people are still inside the plane as eye witnesses claimed to have seen passengers being flung out of the plane as it plunged into the river.

Aviation expert David Learmount, operation and safety editor at Flight Global, says it is clear from the video footage that the plane was “fully stalled”.

In a blogpost on the possible causes of the crash he writes:

An aircraft stalls because it’s flying too slowly to generate sufficient lift from its wings and it starts to fall.

If an aeroplane is flying too slowly in level or descending flight it is normally because there is insufficient power to keep the aircraft’s speed up. The question for the investigators is why was there insufficient power?

Reports are coming in that the pilots made a Mayday call declaring an engine flame-out.

Both propellers were clearly turning, but that does not necessarily mean they were being supplied with sufficient power to fly safely.

If engine power is lost, the un-powered propeller can cause a lot of drag by windmilling, making the aircraft difficult to handle. Under those circumstances the crew would normally “feather” the propeller to cut the drag.

Screen grabs taken from video shows the TransAsia ATR 72-600 turboprop plane approaching and clipping an elevated motorway before crashing into the Keelung river outside Taiwan’s capital Taipei. Screen grabs taken from video shows the TransAsia ATR 72-600 turboprop plane approaching and clipping an elevated motorway before crashing into the Keelung river outside Taiwan’s capital Taipei. Photograph: Tvbs Taiwan/AFP/Getty Images

Rescue personnel help passengers as they wait to be transported to land from the wreckage of a TransAsia ATR 72-600 turboprop plane that crash-landed into the Keelung river outside Taiwan’s capital Taipei. Rescue personnel help passengers as they wait to be transported to land from the wreckage of a TransAsia ATR 72-600 turboprop plane that crash-landed into the Keelung river outside Taiwan’s capital Taipei. Photograph: Sam Yeh/AFP/Getty Images
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As the scale of the accident is becoming clearer here’s a summary of what we know.

More the 20 people are reported to have died after TransAsia Airways flight GE235 crashed into Keelung River shortly after take off from Taipei Songshan airport. The were 53 passengers and 5 crew on board. A major rescue operation continues.
At least 15 people survived the crash, including a small child who was filmed being rescued. No survivors have been found for several hours.
Relatives of the 31 Chinese passengers on board the flight will travel to Taipei on Thursday. Some 16 of the Chinese passengers were with Teyung Group, and the remainder with Flying Tours. Flying Tours confirmed that a Chinese child was among those rescued.
Extraordinary footage has emerged of the plane partially crushing a taxi as it crashed into the river. A manager of the taxi company told the Guardian that the driver is in hospital with a head injury but is in a stable condition.
Flight recorders have been salvaged from the wreckage. The pilot is reported to have alerted air traffic control to an engine flameout, but the cause of the crash is unknown.
TransAsia has offered its deep apology for the crash as it faced questions abouts its safety record. Today’s crash is the carrier’s second fatal accident in seven months. Last year a TransAsia ATR 72-500 crashed while trying to land at Penghu Island, killing 48 of the 58 passengers and crew on board.

Hong Kong’s Apple Live is showing a live stream of the continuing rescue operation which is now taking place under flood lights.

A government official told the Telegraph that no survivors have been been found for nearly five hours. The official said the death toll has reached 22 people.

The Chinese relatives of passengers on board GE235 will travel to Taiwan on Thursday, according to China’s state broadcaster CCTV. It puts the death toll at 21.
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The death toll has increased to 23 people, according to an unconfirmed report by the South China Morning Post.

Fifteen were injured – at least

For more on this story and dramatic video go to: http://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2015/feb/04/transasia-plane-crash-lands-in-taiwan-river-rolling-coverage

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