Dashcam captures moment TransAsia plane hits bridge, crashes in Taipei
By Euan McKirdy and Vivian Kam, CNN
Dramatic dashboard video shows the moment an out-of-control plane clips an aerial highway before crashing into a river in Taiwan.
Thirteen people are confirmed dead and dozens remain missing after the TransAsia Airways ATR-72, carrying 58 people, veered out of control en route from Taipei to Kinmen, off the coast of the Chinese province of Xiamen.
Rescuers were working Wednesday to pull survivors from the submerged wreck of the twin engine turboprop aircraft. Of the 58 people on board, 13 were confirmed dead, 28 injured and the remainder remain missing.
Plane clips highway
Taiwan’s official news agency CNA reported that the pilot appeared to try to control the plane as it descended, but the aircraft’s wing grazed the overpass, clipping a passing taxi.
The two people in the taxi were injured but in a stable condition after being taken to hospital, CNA said.
Video from the scene showed rescuers in lifeboats trying to pull survivors from the water and the wreckage.
Some passengers appeared to be wearing lifejackets as they waited their turn to board rescue boats.
The military said it had 165 personnel and numerous vehicles nearby to assist rescue efforts if required.
Hours after the crash, TransAsia Airways CEO Chen Xinde extended a “deep apology to the victims and our crew.”
He said 31 of the passengers aboard the flight were Chinese tourists, including three children. Twenty-two were from Taiwan, including one child.
The airline had sent the passenger manifest to authorities, and families were confirming the identities of the deceased, he said.
Airline staff have been dispatched to hospitals to provide assistance to families and the injured, as well as the taxi driver and passenger who were also receiving treatment.
Some were also going to Xiamen to assist two Chinese travel agencies, Chen said.
The 31 Chinese tourists were traveling in two tour groups: the Xiamen Airlines International Travel Service Co. and the Xiamen Tourism Group International Travel Service Co.
Chou Jih-shine, the vice chairman of the Straits Exchange Foundation — a quasi-governmental agency which covers cross-Taiwan Strait negotiations — said that the agency had informed its Beijing counterpart. Chou added that the agency had sent personnel to the crash site.
Taiwan’s Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) said the plane was less than a year old and had last completed a safety check on January 26. The agency did not offer any information on what may have caused the crash.
Last year, an older TransAsia ATR 72, which was attempting to land in the Taiwanese Penghu Islands crashed, resulting in 40 deaths.