Footage of TransAsia Airways plane crashing.
At the moment, things don’t look too optimistic,” said Wu Jun-hong, a Taipei Fire Department official who was coordinating the rescue, according to the Associated Press. “Those in the front of the plane are likely to have lost their lives.”
The driver of the clipped taxi cab “has been sent to a local hospital”, an assistant to the Crown Taxi Company’s general manager who identified himself as Mr Yang told the Guardian.
“He has head injury and concussion, but all of his vital signs are stable.” Yang added that the company planned to raise the topic of compensation with TransAsia Airways at a later date.
The last communication from one of the aircraft’s pilots was “Mayday Mayday engine flameout”, according to an air traffic control recording on liveatc.net.
A flameout occurs when the fuel supply to the engine is interrupted or when there is faulty combustion, resulting in an engine failure.
The flight’s black box has been recovered, according to local media.
“Weather conditions were good and the pilot had 14,000 hours of flying hours and the co-pilot 4,000 hours,” Lin Zhiming, a representative from Taiwan’s Civil Aviation Authority, told reporters on Wednesday afternoon.
Among the passengers were 31 mainland Chinese tourists, travelling with two local travel agencies: Teyung Group, and Flying Tours.
Lin Liqing, manager of the Teyung Group, said that she had just arrived in Taipei to help with the handling of the incident.
“We are currently heading to the crash site and checking the passenger list with TransAsia Airways,” Lin said. She added that the passengers had been sent to eight local hospitals, and that she had not yet been able to visit them.
The manager of Flying Tours said that among 15 mainland Chinese tourists on the plane who were travelling with the agency, he had only confirmed one injured passenger – one of the two infants on board. He had no information on the remaining 14 people.
On Wednesday afternoon, the Taiwanese broadcaster TVBS showed rescuers pulling a toddler alive from the wreckage and rushing him or her to safety.
The chief executive of TransAsia, Chen Xinde, has publicly apologised for the crash.
Wednesday’s crash is the second by a TransAsia flight within the past six months — in July 2014, TransAsia flight ATR-72 crashed while attempting to land in the Penghu Islands soon after a typhoon, killing 48 people. The cause of the crash is still under investigation.
Our deepest condolences to friends and family of the passengers and crew members including those who are affected by this sad tragedy.
Our hearts are with you.
Congratulations to the Rescue Team for the prompt action saving so many survivors and those who are hurt.
(Nik Zafri & Family - Kuala Lumpur - Malaysia)