Asia-Pacific News

TransAsia plane crashes into Taipei river

Taiwan air crash: 26 dead, black boxes recovered
Taiwan air crash: 26 dead, black boxes recovered

A TransAsia Airways flight with 58 on board, including five crew members, crash landed in a river in Taipei, Taiwan, on Wednesday.

Twenty people have yet to be accounted for and at least 23 people were killed, Reuters said, after the ATR-72 turboprop crashed three minutes after take off at 10:45 a.m. local time. The plane was en route from Taipei's Songshan Airport to the outlying island of Kinmen.

Television footage showed passengers wearing life jackets wading and swimming clear of the river. Emergency rescue officials in inflatable boats crowded around the partially submerged fuselage Flight GE235, lying on its side in the river, trying to help those on board.

About 16 people were rescued, civil aeronautics authorities told a media briefing. Some 31 mainland Chinese tourists were among those on board, Taiwan's tourism bureau said.

Dramatic images captured by motorists have been circulating on Twitter, showing the plane as it impacted the Keelung River.

TERRIFYING PHOTOS: Dashcam footage shows #TransAsia flight #GE235 ATR 72 as it impacted Keelung River

Here's a tweet from FlightRadar24 showing the flight path:

TransAsia Airways #GE235 was a flight from Taipei to Kinmen. It crashed less than 3 minutes after take off

TransAsia stock fell 7 percent Wednesday, hitting limit-down, on the news. The plane involved in Wednesday's mishap was among the first of the ATR 72-600s, the latest variant of the turboprop aircraft, that TransAsia received in 2014.

Rescuers pull a passenger out of the TransAsia Airways plane which crash landed in a river, in New Taipei City
Pichi Chuang | Reuters

The crash is the second for TransAsia in less than a year. Last July, a separate TransAsia domestic flight crashed into buildings as it approached to land in bad weather at the Magong Airport at Penghu Island in Taiwan, killing 48 of the 58 on board.

Asian airlines have been plagued by a string of tragedies in the past year. In December, an AirAsia jet bound for Surabaya to Singapore crashed amid bad weather, killing all 162 people on board. Malaysia Airlines also lost two planes in separate incidents in March and then in July, losing a combined 539 lives.

— Reuters contributed to the story.