The death toll from a TransAsia Airways plane that crashed into a Taipei river yesterday has climbed to 31, officials in Taiwan said today, as 12 people still remain missing.
Dash cam footage shows the TransAsia Flight GE235 clipping an overpass road with its port side wing and crashing into the Keelung River shortly after taking off from Taipei’s Songshan Airport.
The turboprop ATR 72-600 aircraft was carrying 58 passengers and crew on board. Thirty-one of the passengers are said to be tourists from mainland China.
Seven months ago, a TransAsia ATR 72-500 crashed while trying to land at Penghu Island amid adverse weather conditions, killing 48 of the 58 passengers on board.
Two other fatal crashes and two major accidents have been recorded in the airline’s history, according to Reuters, citing data from Flightglobal Ascend.
“Coming so soon after July’s crash, the airline could come under intense scrutiny by regulators, not to mention the impact this will have on public perceptions of the carrier,” Greg Waldron, the Asia Managing Editor at Flightglobal, told Reuters.
Experts have said that the relatively high number of survivors can be attributed to the design of the plane, Wall Street Journal‘s Jason Bellini explains. The airliner flies at lower speeds than most jets, is designed to float in water and was built evenly to distribute shock.
Aviation authorities and TransAsia have not suggested possible causes for Wednesday’s crash, but the plane’s black box was removed yesterday and experts are working on decoding it.