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Ten survive Taiwan plane crash, families rush to scene

By Ians English

Taiwan Plane
Taipei, July 24: Ten people survived the passenger plane crash in Taiwan Wednesday with injuries, but as many as 48 have been confirmed dead, the airliner said in a statement Thursday.

TransAsia Airways' Flight GE 222, with 58 people on board, smashed into residential buildings after a failed emergency landing in the outlying island county of Penghu Wednesday evening, Xinhua reported.

Meanwhile, family members of the people on board are rushing to Penghu's Magong airport, the statement said.

The members will get condolence payment worth of 200,000 new Taiwan dollars ($6,673) for each from TransAsia, and families of the deceased will get a funeral subsidy for each from the airliner worth 800,000 new Taiwan dollars, the statement added.

According to the statement, the flight carried 54 passengers, including two French nationals, and four crew.

One of the black boxes of teh crashed aircraft was found Wednesday night, Taiwan's transportation authority said.

The island's aviation safety council said that experts would recover the flight data recorded in the black box to determine cause of the accident.

An earlier report Wednesday put the toll at 47, citing the Taiwan's transportation authority.

Taiwan's Transport Minister Yeh Kuang-shih confirmed that 47 people were killed in the crash and there were 11 survivors who all suffered various injuries.

The plane was going from Kaohsiung in southern Taiwan to Penghu Islands in the west.

Flight GE 222 was scheduled to take off at 4 p.m., but left Kaohsiung at 5.43 p.m. due to bad weather.

The flight sought 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 rain and strong winds, shutting financial markets and schools.

As the plane was preparing to land at Magong airport in heavy rain, it was forced to pull up because of poor visibility, Focus Taiwan news channel reported, citing the Penghu fire department.

On its second attempt at landing, the aircraft crashed in the village of Xixi in Penghu's Huxi Township, the fire department said.


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