Taiwan plane crash: At least 40 killed in TransAsia failed landing

The plane reportedly crashed after failing to make an emergency landing 

A plane has crashed in a failed landing attempt in Taiwan, with 47 feared dead, local officials have said. 

Eleven people are also believed to have been injured in the crash outside the village of Xixi, as flight GE222 attempted to land near Magong airport on the Penghu Islands, about 30 minutes off the western coast of Taiwan.

UPDATE: Typhoon Matmo could have caused Taiwan plane crash

Flight GE222, operated by Taiwanese airline TransAsia Airways, left the southern port city of Kaohsiung at 4:53pm with 54 passengers and 4 crew on board.

On Wednesday evening, firefighters were working to free those still trapped on board. They were later joined by around 200 military personnel, Taiwanese Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Luo Shou-he said.

Military vehicles and ambulances were rushing people to hospitals, and an air force rescue team was on standby to transfer survivors to Taiwan's main island if needed for treatment, according to the defence minsitry. Photos in local media showed firefighters using flashlights to look at wreckage in the darkness, and buildings and cars damaged by debris.

Rescue workers survey the wreckage of TransAsia Airways flight GE222 (AP) Rescue workers survey the wreckage of TransAsia Airways flight GE222 (AP)

Taiwan has been blighted by bad weather caused by Typhoon Matmo and the Central Weather Bureau was advising of heavy rain through the evening. But the aviation agency reported that as the plane approached, visibility was 1,600 meters (one mile), which met standards for landing. Two flights had landed prior to GE222, it added.

However, the county fire department said heavy rain had likely reduced visibility, leading the pilot to make his first, failed, landing attempt. During the second attempt, the aircraft caught fire, according to reports.

Taiwan's Transport Minister, Yeh Kuang-shih, was quoted by the government's Central News Agency as saying 47 people were killed and after the plane crashed. The agency had earlier cited a local fire brigade chief who said 51 people had been killed.

President Ma Ying-jeou called it "a very sad day in the history of Taiwanese aviation" and ordered authorities to quickly clarify the details, said a spokesman for his office, Ma Wei-kuo.

TransAsia Airways' general manager, Hsu Yi-Tsung, tearfully apologized for the accident, and told reporters the carrier was arranging to take the relatives of passengers on the flight to Magong on Thursday morning. The firm would spare no effort in the rescue and in handling the aftermath, he added.

Taiwan's last major aviation disaster also was near Penghu. A China Airlines Boeing 747 broke apart in midair in 2002 and crashed into the Taiwan Strait, killing all 225 people aboard. 

In October 2013, a Lao Airlines ATR-72 crashed during a heavy storm as it approached Pakse Airport in southern Laos, killing all 49 people on board.

Additional reporting by AP

Voices
'Irritatingly Disneyfied': fashion vlogger Zoella
voices

News
people

Actress sees off speculation about her appearance in an amazing way

Arts and Entertainment
The last great picture - Winner 'Black and White' and overall 'Wildlife Photographer of the Year'
art
News
Carl Bernstein (left) and Bob Woodward (right) with former 'Washington Post' executive editor Ben Bradlee
people

The Washington Post editor helped Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein bring down President Nixon

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
tech

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

News
There have been various incidents of social media users inadvertently flouting the law
news

Life and Style
Stack ‘em high?: quantity doesn’t always trump quality, as Friends of the Earth can testify
techThe proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
News
Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
i100
Sport
CSKA Moscow celebrate after equalising with a late penalty
footballCSKA Moscow 2 Manchester City 2: Premier League champions let two goal lead slip in Russia
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Consultant - Bristol - Computer Futures - £18-25k

£18000 - £25000 per annum + Commission: SThree: The SThree group is a world le...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Real Staffing - Leeds - £18k+

£18000 - £27000 per annum + Commission: SThree: The SThree group is a world le...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Manchester - Progressive Rec.

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: The SThree group is a world le...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Manchester - Huxley Associates

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: The SThree group is a world le...

Day In a Page

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London