Taiwan Plane Crash: TransAsia Checks Safety on All ATR 72 Planes

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BEIJING — Airline TransAsia said Thursday it had completed regulator-ordered checks on all its turboprops after one of them crashed into a river, killing at least 31 people.

In a statement, the carrier said its fleet of 10 ATR 72s had been inspected and had returned to service.

Twelve people were still missing after Flight GE235, which was carrying 58 passengers and crew, plunged into the shallow Keeluhng River moments after taking off from Taipei, Taiwan.

Fifteen people survived the crash, which was captured in dramatic dashcam video that showed the plane banking sharply to the left and scraping an elevated freeway with its wing.

Two passers-by — the driver of a taxi that was clipped by the wing and his passenger — were also being treated in hospital.

One of the pilots declared an emergency, telling air traffic controllers the plane had suffered an engine "flameout" — a failure caused by a malfunction or fuel starvation.

Checks were ordered on the engines, fuel control system, propeller systems, and spark plugs and ignition connectors on the ATR 72s, Taiwan’s Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) said in a statement.

It was the second TransAsia crash in seven months involving the same type of plane, but experts said the previous accidents was most likely caused by landing in poor weather conditions.

The CAA said divers were still searching the murky waters for bodies, and that the plane’s two engines had been recovered.


- Shanshan Dong, Julia Zhou and Alastair Jamieson