BEIJING, July 23 (Xinhua) -- Chinese mainland's Taiwan affairs chief Zhang Zhijun conveyed his condolences Wednesday night after a plane crash in Taiwan left dozens dead or missing.
A twin-engine ATR-72 turboprop aircraft with Taiwan's TransAsia Airways crashed at around 7 p.m. while attempting to land in stormy weather. It was traveling from Kaohsiung in southern Taiwan to Penghu Islands in the west with 58 passengers and crew on board.
More than 10 bodies have been recovered from the debris. Twelve people have been sent to hospitals and the rest remain missing, accroding to Taiwan's transport authority.
Previous reports said 47 people were killed and 11 injured.
Zhang sent his sympathies to his Taiwan counterpart Wang Yu-chi over the loss of lives. He said the mainland stood ready to provide any assistance.
The Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits, meanwhile, also sent a message to the Taiwan-based Straits Exchange Foundation to express condolences to the families of the crash victims.
Passengers included two French nationals, according to Taiwan's transport authorities. No one from the Chinese mainland was onboard the plane.
The flight requested to circle above before trying to land at Magong Airport but lost contact with the tower, said Jean Shen, director general of Taiwan's civil aeronautics administration, at a press conference.
The accident happened as typhoon Matmo arrived in the island with heavy rains and strong winds, shutting financial markets and schools.