A TransAsia Airways (復興航空) plane crashed on Penghu yesterday, killing at least 47 people, the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) said last night.
The flight from Greater Kaohsiung crashed near the Magong Airport’s runway with 54 passengers and four crew on board, the agency said.
Minister of Transportation and Communications Yeh Kuang-shih (葉匡時) said that 47 people were confirmed dead and 11 injured.
Photo: Taipei Times
According to the CAA, the 70-seat turboprop ATR72 model plane carried 54 passengers and four crew.
TransAsia Flight GE222 had been scheduled to depart Greater Kaohsiung at 4pm yesterday. However, because of Typhoon Matmo it was delayed, not departing until 5:43pm.
CAA Director General Jean Shen (沈啟) said air traffic control personnel received the request from the flight for a go-around at the Magong Airport at 7:06pm, but they lost track of the flight afterward.
Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei Times
“It’s chaotic on the scene,” Reuters quoted Shen as saying.
The plane made a forced landing in Sisi Village (西溪), just outside the airport.
Several buildings on the ground were set on fire by the crash, but no one on the ground was injured, local officials said.
"A few empty apartment buildings adjacent to the runway caught fire, but no one was inside at the time and the fire was extinguished," said Hsi Wen-guang, a spokesman for the Penghu County Government Fire Bureau.
About 100 firefighters were sent to the scene, besides 152 military personnel and 255 police, he added.
CAA information said the pilot, Lee Yi-liang (李義良), 60, has 15 years of experience in flying civilian aircraft.
The co-pilot was identified as 39-year-old Chiang Kuan-hsing (江冠興).
Witnesses have said that there was heavy rain at the time. However, the CAA said that the visual range was 800 feet (243.8m), which was adequate for landing.
The agency said that it will dispatch officials to Penghu today to help with the investigation into the cause of the crash, but the investigation will be led by the Aviation Safety Council.
Penghu County Fire Department Director-General Hong Yung-peng (洪永澎) said the airplane tried to land at the airport, but had pulled up to make another try because the heavy rain was hampering the pilot’s vision.
Executive Yuan spokesman Sun Lih-chuyn (孫立群) said Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) had ordered the Ministry of Transportation and Communications to report on the situation as soon as possible.
Additional reporting by Shih Hsiu-chua and Reuters
This story has been updated since it was first published.
FIRST STEP: Business groups in Taiwan welcomed the deal, which does not include tariff reductions at this stage, as they called for the elimination of double taxation Taiwan and the US yesterday signed an initial agreement under the US-Taiwan Initiative on 21st-Century Trade. The agreement was signed yesterday morning by Representative to the US Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) and American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Managing Director Ingrid Larson in Washington, the Office of Trade Negotiations in Taipei said. The ceremony was witnessed by Minister Without Portfolio John Deng (鄧振中) and Deputy US Trade Representative Sarah Bianchi. Taiwan and the US started talks under the initiative in August last year, after Taipei was left out of the Washington-led Indo-Pacific Economic Framework. “The deal that will be signed tonight is not only very historic,
Beijing yesterday blamed US “provocation” for an incident last week in which a Chinese plane crossed in front of a US surveillance aircraft over the South China Sea. The incident came at a time of frayed ties between Washington and Beijing over issues including Taiwan and the shooting down of an alleged Chinese spy balloon that flew over the US this year. “The United States’ long-term and frequent sending of ships and planes to conduct close surveillance on China seriously harms China’s national sovereignty and security,” Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Mao Ning (毛寧) said when asked about the latest incident. “This
‘GLOBAL NETWORK’: The only way to deter a Chinese invasion is for the international community to unite in its resolve, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Roy Lee said Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Roy Lee (李淳) yesterday urged democratic nations around the world to not let Beijing dictate the definition of their “one China” policies, saying that they should increase cooperation with Taiwan to build a resilient democratic network. Lee made the remarks during his speech, titled “Ukraine and Taiwan: Why Global Unity Matters,” at the annual Bratislava Forum in Slovakia. “People in Taiwan have been paying close attention to the situation in Ukraine and admire Ukrainians for defending their homeland. They are [also] fighting for Taiwan and democratic countries around the world,” Lee told forum participants. “The international
HARD-WON FREEDOM: Beijing’s 1989 crackdown on protesters has not been and should not be forgotten, as China tightens its grip on Hong Kong, Lai said Taiwanese enjoy democracy and freedom and have multiple ways to express their creativity, and hopefully young people in China would also one day have the freedom to sing and express themselves, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said yesterday, commemorating the Tiananmen Square Massacre. Yesterday was the 34th anniversary of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army’s bloody crackdown on student-led protests in Beijing in 1989, also known as the June Fourth Incident. Tsai posted a photograph taken in March in a subway station in Guizhou, China, where hundreds of young people gathered to sing People With No Ideals Don’t Get Hurt (沒有理想的人不傷心), saying that they