Taiwan plane crash: Teams search for 12 missing people
Rescue teams in Taiwan are continuing to search for the 12 people who remain unaccounted for after a plane crashed in a river.
Thirty-one people are now known to have died when the TransAsia ATR-72 plane came down in Taipei’s Keelung River on Wednesday morning.
Fifteen survivors were pulled from the wreckage, including a two-year-old boy.
Taiwan’s aviation regulator has ordered all operators of ATR planes to conduct “special checks”.
Many of the passengers were Chinese tourists and China will reportedly participate in a probe into the crash.
The death toll was expected to rise as rescue teams searched the river for the missing passengers.
“This morning we have some 60 divers going underwater to search” in addition to 20 boats scouring the river, said Liu Yung-chou, from the national fire agency which is leading the rescue operation.
Aviation authorities in Taiwan said the pilot and co-pilot were among the dead.
The ATR-72 turbo-prop plane had just taken off from Taipei Songshan Airport and was heading to the Kinmen islands, just off the coast of the south-eastern Chinese city of Xiamen.
Dramatic video footage shot from inside a passing car showed the plane banking sharply before clipping a taxi and the edge of the elevated road with its wing.
The final communication from the pilots to air traffic control was “Mayday, mayday, engine flame out”, aviation officials confirmed Thursday, after an audio snippet was widely broadcast by local media.
The cause of the crash has not been identified, but the message indicates that one of the engines had stopped working – one propeller appeared from the footage to be not turning.