Both engines on TransAsia Flight 235 lost power and pilots tried to restart one of them before the plane crashed into a river, killing 35 people, Taiwan's top aviation safety official said Friday.
Fifteen people were rescued with injuries after the accident — including a father who saved his wife before returning to find his two-year-old son in the submerged aircraft. The crash was captured in a dramatic dashboard camera video that showed the plane banking steeply and scraping a highway overpass before it hurtled into the Keelung River moments after takeoff from Taipei.
Preliminary findings from the flight data recorder were presented at a news conference in Taipei by Aviation Safety Council Executive Director Thomas Wang.
He said the plane's right engine triggered an alarm 37 seconds after takeoff. However, he said the data showed it had not shut down, or "flamed out" as the pilot told the control tower, but rather moved into idle mode, with no change in the oil pressure.
Then, 46 seconds later, the left engine was shut down, apparently by one of the pilots, so that neither engine was producing any power. A restart was attempted, but the plane crashed just 72 seconds later.
Wang said it was too early to draw firm conclusions about the reasons why the engines ceased producing power.
Meanwhile, divers found one female and three male bodies Friday in muddy waters 50 yards from the crash site, a Taipei City Fire Department official said.
The pilot's and co-pilot's bodies were found earlier with their hands still on the controls, Taiwan's ETToday online news service said.
- The Associated Press