UK & World News

  • 23 July 2014, 21:02

Taiwan Plane Crash Leaves 47 Feared Dead

A plane crashed outside an airport in Taiwan as it tried to land in stormy weather,leaving 47 people trapped and feared dead.

The TransAsia aircraft came down near the airport in Xixi village, in the island of Penghu, off the western coast of Taiwan.

Yeh Kuang-shih, the country's transport minister, was quoted by the government's Central News Agency as saying another 11 people were injured after the plane crashed and caught fire while making a second landing attempt.

The agency had earlier reported, citing a local fire brigade chief, that 51 people had been killed.

Flight GE 222 was flying a domestic route in stormy weather from the capital Taipei to the Penghu Islands, halfway between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan.

Reports said the pilot failed to land the ATR-72 aircraft at the first attempt, before he requested another attempt and air-traffic control lost contact with the plane.

Pictures on Taiwan television showed emergency services searching through twisted wreckage at the crash site.

Taiwan was battered by Typhoon Matmo early Tuesday morning, and the Central Weather Bureau was advising of heavy rain through the evening, even though the center of the storm was in mainland China.

Penghu is a lightly populated island that averages around two flights a day from Taiwan's capital, Taipei.