Update as of 2:50 a.m. EST: At least 15 people have been killed after TransAsia Flight GE 235 crashed in the Keelung River near Taipei on Wednesday, The Associated Press reported. The death toll is expected to rise as rescuers attempt to clear the sunken fuselage.
Update as of 1:41 a.m. EST: At least 12 people have been declared dead and 16 people injured after TransAsia Flight GE 235 crashed in the Keelung River near Taipei, the city’s government said, according to Bloomberg. Thirty people are still unaccounted for. A BBC report said that many people are still inside the aircraft.
The plane had just taken off from the Taipei Songshan Airport and was heading to Kinmen islands. Footage taken from passing cars reportedly showed the plane banking sharply, hitting a taxi and clipping a bridge before it crashed into the river.
Update as of 12:48 a.m. EST: TransAsia Flight GE 235 reportedly lost radar contact after 10:53 a.m. local time (9:53 p.m. EST), media reports said, citing Taiwan's Central Disaster Response Centre. The plane was carrying 53 passengers and five crew members on board.
The plane's pilot radioed a "Mayday, Mayday" distress call shortly before the crash, but did not respond when air-traffic control answered, according to a Straits Times report. The ministry of transportation reached out to the disaster response center about 20 minutes after the plane lost contact with air-traffic control, the Guardian reported.
Weather conditions during the flight were good and the pilot of the plane, which was an ATR72-600, had 14,000 flying hours, according to Lin Zhi Ming, a spokesperson from the Civil Aviation Authority who addressed a news conference according to the China Times, which was cited by the Guardian.
At least nine people have been declared dead so far, while 31 people are still unaccounted for and 18 people were injured, the Guardian reported. Nearly 170 rescue team members are at the accident site, reports said.
Update as of 12:18 a.m. EST: Nine people have been killed after TransAsia Flight GE 235 crashed into the Keelung River near Taipei, Reuters reported, citing local television networks. Earlier, government officials had declared only two people dead.
Update as of 11:52 p.m. EST: At least two people were killed and 40 more were waiting for rescue teams to reach them, after a TransAsia flight crashed into a river near Taipei, the Straits Times reported. At least 16 people were rescued and sent to nearby hospitals for treatment, according to Reuters, which added that there were 31 tourists from mainland China on board the plane.
This is a developing story...
TransAsia Flight GE 235, with 58 people on board, reportedly crashed into the Keelung River near Taipei, Taiwan, reports said Wednesday citing Taiwan's Central News Agency (CNA).
The agency reportedly said a dozen people were rescued from the plane while 10 others were waiting for rescue teams to reach them. However, details about others on board or the exact the number of casualties were not immediately available, the Straits Times reported.
The aircraft, an ATR-72 turboprop, was flying from Taipei to the offshore island of Kinmen when the accident happened, the report said, according to the Straits Times. The New Taipei City Fire Department reportedly sent five rescue teams, along with speed boats, to the site, near the Nanyang Bridge in Xizhi district.
Taipei City government spokesman Sidney Lin, said Wednesday, according to Focus Taiwan, that the plane hit an elevated bridge leading to the crash. The plane had taken off from Taipei Songshan Airport for Kinmen Airport, which lies just off the coast of southeastern China. The aircraft was French-manufactured, Bloomberg reported.
Last July, another TransAsia ATR-72 plane, Flight GE222, crashed near the airport at Magong on the Penghu island chain during a rainstorm, killing 48 people and injuring 10 others.
— Airline Reporter (@AirlineReporter) February 4, 2015
— John Walton (@thatjohn) February 4, 2015