News / Asia

    TransAsia Airways Plane Crashes on Landing in Taiwan

    Rescue workers search for survivors after the crash of the TransAsia Airways flight GE222 on July 23, 2014 in Penghu islands.
    Rescue workers search for survivors after the crash of the TransAsia Airways flight GE222 on July 23, 2014 in Penghu islands.
    Reuters

     A TransAsia Airways turboprop plane crashed on its second attempt at landing during a thunderstorm on an island off Taiwan on Wednesday, killing 47 people and setting buildings on fire, officials said.

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    The plane, a 70-seat ATR 72, crashed near the runway on the island of Penghu, west of the mainland, with 54 passengers and four crew on board, they said. No one was killed or hurt in the buildings.

    Eleven injured people on the plane were taken to hospital, the government said.

    The aircraft took off from Taiwan's southern city of Kaohsiung after a nearly two hour delay, headed for the island of Makong.  But it crash-landed in Huxi township of Penghu County, the main island of the chain also known as the Pescadores.

    "It was thunderstorm conditions during the crash,'' said Hsi Wen-guang, a spokesman for the Penghu County Government Fire Bureau.  "From the crash site we sent 11 people to hospital with injuries. A few empty apartment buildings adjacent to the runway caught fire, but no one was inside at the time and the fire was extinguished.''

    Hundreds of rescue workers, including military personnel, have been sent to the scene of the crash -- where they could be seen working in the darkness using flashlights in their search for survivors.

    Typhoon Matmo slammed into Taiwan on Wednesday, bringing  heavy rain and strong winds, shutting financial markets and schools. It passed the island and headed into China, downgraded from typhoon to tropical storm.

    TransAsia Airways is a Taiwan-based airline with a fleet of around 23 Airbus and ATR aircraft, operating chiefly short-haul flights on domestic routes as well as to mainland China, Japan, Thailand and Cambodia, among its Asian destinations.

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    Comments
         
    by: Tran from: Canada
    July 23, 2014 2:20 PM
    Thanks VOA for updating transparent news to all readers and listeners around the world. I noticed that in the last paragraph of the news ,the writer used the word " mainland China " .Please explain to me that where that word came from and why we have to use "mainland " before China .

    In my limited knowledge , most of the countries in the world such as the United States of America ,Canada , Britian, India , etc. , all have mainland and islands surrounding it to form a united country and under only one flag to represented one nation . But we never use the word mainland before a country such as in the name " mainland China ".It is very unpopular to say "mainland the United States of America , or "mainland Canada , or " mainland Britian".
    Regards,
    In Response

    by: beth from: europe
    July 24, 2014 8:58 AM
    Because a lot of people don't realise that Taiwan belongs to China. Just saying "China" could blur that distinction. It would be like saying "XYZ is an airline based in Newfoundland. It also operates routes to Canada, the US, and Mexico."

    A lot of people are not aware of the names of all of Canada's provinces, if any. So it would make more sense to say "it operates routes to mainland Canada/the rest of Canada, the US, and Mexico".

    It's basically to educate people who may lack somewhat in geographical and/or political knowledge.

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