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Published: Wednesday July 23, 2014 MYT 9:42:00 PM
Updated: Thursday July 24, 2014 MYT 8:08:47 AM

TransAsia Airways plane crashes in typhoon-hit Taiwan, 47 dead

TAIPEI: A domestic TransAsia Airways plane crashed on landing on an island off the west coast of typhoon-hit Taiwan on Wednesday, killing 47 people, the Civil Aeronautics Administration said.

The plane, a 70-seat turboprop ATR 72, crashed near the runway with 54 passengers and four crew on board, it said.

"It’s chaotic on the scene," director Jean Shen told Reuters.

Eleven injured people had been taken to hospital, the government said.

The accident happened on one of the Penghu islands, also known as the Pescadores. No more details were immediately available.

Typhoon Matmo slammed into Taiwan on Wednesday with heavy rains and strong winds, shutting financial markets and schools.

TransAsia Airways is a Taiwan-based airline with a fleet of around 23 Airbus and ATR aircraft, flying chiefly on domestic routes, but with some flights to Japan, Thailand and Cambodia among its Asian destinations.

Apart from Wednesday's event, Taiwan's aviation safety council says TransAsia has had a total of eight incidents since 2002, including 6 involving the ATR 72, reported Reuters.

According to a report from Taiwan News, flight GE222 was scheduled to depart Kaohsiung Siaogang Airport at 4pm, but only took off at 5.43pm due to bad weather.

It was scheduled to land in Penghu’s Magong Airport half an hour later.

It also said the plane had one failed attempt at landing, with the pilot making a request to attempt a second.

The airport control tower lost contact with the flight soon after.

Tags / Keywords: Taiwan, Plane crash, TransAsia Airways, Flight GE222

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