TAIPEI, July 24 (Xinhua) -- Forty-eight people have been confirmed dead and 10 others injured in a plane crash on western Taiwan's Penghu Island, amid stormy weather, authorities confirmed on Thursday.
TransAsia Airways Flight GE 222, with 58 people on board, crashed into residential buildings in Xixi Village of Penghu on Wednesday evening after a failed emergency landing at Magong Airport. The flight was carrying 54 passengers, including two French nationals, and four crew members.
The wreckage of the plane was scattered along a 200-meter corridor with its tail stuck between households.
Hundreds of police officers, firefighters and residents joined the rescue work.
Most of the bodies were found by noon on Thursday and sent to Penghu funeral parlor for identification.
According to the Penghu prosecutor's office, 32 bodies had been identified by 5 p.m. while the identities of 16 others still need to be confirmed.
Seven of the 10 injured people were transported to hospitals with better medical facilities in Kaohsiung or Taipei as requested by their families.
One person who suffered slight injuries has left hospital, while two others suffering severe injuries remain in Penghu for treatment.
During a Thursday press conference, Taiwan's civil aeronautics authority said weather conditions at the time of the crash were adequate for taking off and landing.
The authority said it was up to the airline's captain to decide whether to land or not. The reason behind the failure to land will be discovered after analyzing the two black boxes, which have been sent to Taipei.
Taiwan's aviation safety council said the black boxes were badly damaged.
Wang Hsing-chung, head of the aviation safety council, said the plane's cockpit and wings had been severely burnt.
After searching for remains, the site will be cleared. The plane wreckage will be transferred to a local air force base for temporary storage, Wang said.
The president, managers and staff of SIGMU Group, parent company of TransAsia, paid a silent tribute to the victims. SIGMU said it would shoulder responsibility and take care of the aftermath.
TransAsia will pay 200,000 new Taiwan dollars (6,673 U.S. dollars) in compensation to each of the families of those who died, as well as a funeral subsidy worth 800,000 new Taiwan dollars each, according to the airline's statement.
Flight GE 222's twin-engine ATR-72 turboprop aircraft was scheduled to take off from Taiwan's southern city of Kaohsiung at 4 p.m., but left at 5:43 p.m. due to bad weather.
As it was preparing to land at Magong in heavy rain, the plane could not land due to poor visibility. It requested to circle above before attempting to land but lost contact with the tower.
On its second attempt to land, the plane crashed into residential buildings in Xixi Village.
Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, conveyed his condolences.
Xi, who is visiting Latin America, was in a state of "deep grief" after learning of the tragedy, said a statement from the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office.
The mainland will provide help if needed, the office said.
TransAsia Airways, founded in 1951, is Taiwan's first private airline, mainly focusing on short overseas flights.
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Xi grieves over Taiwan plane crash
BEIJING, July 24 (Xinhua) -- Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, conveyed condolences after a deadly plane crash in Taiwan Wednesday evening.
Xi, who is on a Latin America tour, felt "deeply grieved" after learning the tragedy has caused heavy casualties, said a statement from the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office (SCTAO).Full Story