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Taiwan Plane Crashes, Kills 47

Taiwan Mountains

At least 46 people were feared dead in a plane crash in Taiwan on Wednesday in an emergency landing as Typhoon Matmo battered the country.

Taiwan’s transport minister, Yeh Juang-shih said TransAsia Airways flight GE222, carrying 58 people, slammed into two houses near the runway of Penghu Island’s Madong Airport, Agence France-Presse reported.

“There were 58 people on board including four crew members, four children and, so far, according to the information we have, 12 were injured and were sent to hospitals while 46 were missing,” Yeh said.

“We are not clear about the situation of the 46 people although more than 10 bodies have been found and the search continues,” he said.

The turbopop plane, a 70-seat ATR 72, was flying from Kaohsiung City to the western part of the island chain and was delayed due to the bad weather.

Taiwan’s Civil Aeronautics Administration director general Shen Chi said the control tower lost contact with the aircraft at  7:00 P.M. (1100 GMT), shortly after the pilot requested a second attempt to land.

An official at the Civil Aeronautics Administration, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said air traffic control in Taiwan  relayed that the extreme weather at the time of the crash met international regulations for landing, Reuters reported.

Meanwhile, Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou extended her condolences to the family of the victims and said that it was a “very sad day in Taiwan’s aviation history”.

“All Taiwanese people feel the sorrow and will provide the survivors and families of the deceased the biggest support and assistance,” Ma said in a statement.

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