Beijing, July 23 :
Forty-seven people on board a Taiwanese TransAsia Airways plane were killed in a failed emergency landing in the island county of Penghu Wednesday, Taiwan’s transportation authority has confirmed.
Eleven others were injured, Xinhua reported citing the authority. An earlier report put the toll at 51
The twin-engine ATR-72 turboprop aircraft was carrying 54 passengers and four crew. The plane was travelling from Kaohsiung in southern Taiwan to Penghu Islands in the west.
The passengers included two French nationals, according to Taiwan’s transport authorities.
Flight GE 222 was scheduled to take off at 4 p.m., but left Kaohsiung at 5.43 p.m. due to bad weather.
The flight sought to circle above before trying to land at Magong Airport but lost contact with the tower, said Jean Shen, director general of Taiwan’s civil aeronautics administration, at a press conference.
The accident happened as typhoon Matmo arrived in the island with heavy rain and strong winds, shutting financial markets and schools.
As the plane was preparing to land at Magong Airport in heavy rain, it was forced to pull up because of poor visibility, Focus Taiwan news channel reported citing the Penghu fire department.
On its second attempt at landing, the aircraft crashed in the village of Xixi in Penghu’s Huxi Township, the fire department said.
Taiwan’s Transport Minister Yeh Kuang-shih confirmed that 47 people had died in the crash and there were 11 survivors who all suffered various injuries.