Passenger plane crashes in Taiwan; at least 45 dead

At least 45 people aboard the domestic TransAsia Airways Flight GE222 from Koasiung to Taiwan's Penghu Islands are believed dead after the twin-engine turboprop plane failed to make an emergency landing in bad weather conditions.
By JC Finley  |  July 23, 2014 at 10:26 AM
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TAIPEI, Taiwan, July 23 (UPI) -- TransAsia Airways Flight GE222 crashed Wednesday evening while attempting to land at Magong airport on one of Taiwan's Penghu Islands.

At least 45 of the 59 people aboard were killed when the twin-engine turboprop plane crashed during an attempted emergency landing after aborting its initial landing attempt.

Local fire fighters told the BBC that the plane's flight radar went out right before the crash. The plane missed the landing strip and crashed nearby, bursting into flame. Emergency personnel were engaged in rescue attempts.

Taiwan's CNA news agency reported there were 54 passengers and four crew members on the domestic flight. It had taken off from Koasiung, Taiwan, and crashed around 7:00 p.m. local time.

It is unclear what prompted the emergency landing. There is speculation that poor weather conditions may have played a role.

Typhoon Matmo made landfall in Taiwan on Tuesday, with winds up to 98 mph and gusts upward of 121 mph.

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