Though the agency earlier reported 51 dead, Transport Minister Yeh Kuang-shih has told the Associated Press 47 people remain trapped inside and are feared dead. (Another transportation official, however, has put the figure at 46 in CTITV's broadcast, embedded below.)
Flight GE222 left Kaohsiung Siaogang Airport at 5 P.M. and was scheduled to land in Penghu's Magong Airport at 5:30. According to the Central Weather Bureau, the island of Penghu was in the area battered by Typhoon Matmo, which brought an onslaught of heavy rain throughout the evening.
The plane was carrying 54 passengers, including four children, and four crew members when it reportedly caught fire after it landed at the end of the runway. CNA reported 11 passengers have been sent to the local hospital with burn injuries.
An amateur video, obtained by Taiwan's Apple Daily news, shows the wreckage caused by the plane ramming into two residential buildings after leaving the runway. In it, the videographer points out where the plane first hit and zooms out to show the plane's trajectory.
The local CTITV News has live coverage of the crash, below:
The station reports the typhoon had been strongest during the flight's approach, and despite the steady rainfall onto the crash site, firefighters did not finish putting out the fire until 10:00 P.M. An aviation expert also told CTITV the plane had apparently started descending when the pilot was told to keep the flight airborne. The pilot could not do so and was instead forced to make an emergency landing.
In a statement to the press broadcast by CTITV, a TransAsia spokesman tearily apologized for the accident, bowing and stating the weather caused the crash. TransAsia will immediately begin conducting an investigation into the incident, he said. One of the two black boxes has already been recovered, CTITV reported.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.