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Thursday, July 24, 2014, 08:47

47 killed as plane crashes in Taiwan

By Agencies in Taipei
47 killed as plane crashes in Taiwan

Rescuers spray water onto wreckage of TransAsia Airways flight GE222, which crashed on Penghu Island, Taiwan, on Wednesday. (Chen Kewen / for China Daily)

A TransAsia Airways plane crash-landed on an island off the west coast of typhoon-hit Taiwan on Wednesday, killing 47 people, Taiwan's civil aviation authority said.

The mainland's Taiwan affairs chief Zhang Zhijun conveyed his condolences to his Taiwan counterpart Wang Yu-chi.

The plane, a 70-seat turboprop ATR 72, crashed near the runway and caught fire while making a second landing attempt with 54 passengers and four crew on board, it said.

47 killed as plane crashes in Taiwan

"It's chaotic on the scene," civil aviation chief Jean Shen said.

Eleven injured people had been taken to hospital, the government said.

The accident happened on Penghu Island, a lightly populated place that averages about two flights a day from Taipei.

The plane crashed outside the airport in Xixi village, and local media showed photos of a handful of firefighters using flashlights to look at wreckage in the dark.

Typhoon Matmo slammed into Taiwan on Wednesday with heavy rain and strong winds, shutting financial markets and schools. It injured 10 people and knocked out power to more than 31,500 homes in Taiwan.

TransAsia Airways is a Taiwan-based airline with a fleet of around 23 Airbus and ATR aircraft, flying chiefly on routes within the islands, but it also has some flights to Japan, Thailand and Cambodia among its Asian destinations.

Reuters - AP

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