According to the latest information from authorities, 31 of the 58 people who were on board (53 passengers and five crew members) died in the crash of TransAsia Airways Flight GE 235 Wednesday morning, 11 a.m local time.
The plane left the capital towards the small island of Kinmen, next to the Chinese mainland but controlled by Taiwan. The plane carried Chinese and Taiwanese tourists.
After the takeoff, the aircraft soon stalled and hit a raised highway before crashing into a river.
The pilot is considered to have done everything possible to avoid populated areas and avoid casualties on the ground. He has been hailed as a hero by aviation experts. Both the pilot and co-pilot perished in the accident.
In a recording broadcast on local television we can hear a member of the crew screaming, “Mayday, Mayday, engine flameout!”
An engine flameout is an engine failure that results from an interruption of the fuel supply or from faulty combustion. Twin-engine aricraft like GE 235 usually can continue to fly even if one engine fails, however.
“The pilots were highly trained and could face a possible failure of the motors,” said Daniel Tsang, an expert in aviation. This indicates that the causes of the accident are probably more complex than simple engine failure.
For the time being, no comments have been made about the causes of the accident, but the black boxes were recovered and should be analyzed quickly. Two French experts belonging to the civil aviation investigation office are also scheduled to arrived soon in Taiwan to meet Canadian counterparts there.
The aircraft that was less than one year old was in working order ten days ago, said the director of the Taiwanese civil aviation.
The crash is part of a black series for Asian airways. Not to mention Malaysia Airlines, TransAsia Airways already had a plane crash last July. A domestic flight crashed with 54 passengers on board. The aircraft was caught in a typhoon.
By Esther Hervy
Taiwanese citizen’s video, obtained by Reuters
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