Tallahassee Journal

Death toll rises to 26 in Taiwan plane crash caught on video

Death toll rises to 26 in Taiwan plane crash caught on video

At least 26 people died and 15 survived a spectacular crash caught on video of a TransAsia Airways flight that clipped its wing on a bridge after takeoff from the Taiwanese capital Taipei and crashed into a nearby river. Seventeen people remained missing and were feared dead.635586152921485881-EPA-TAIWAN-TRANSPORT-ACCIDENT

Taiwanese rescuers used a massive crane to hoist the French-built ATR 72-600 propjet from the shallow river after survivors were brought to safety on rubber rafts or scrambled to the river bank on their own. One injured person was reportedly found in a park along the river, Taiwan News reported. Dramatic dashcam footage from vehicles on an elevated highway shows the plane banked sharply left after taking off, just missing apartment buildings. Its left wing clipped the side of the highway, and a taxi on the bridge was rocked by the plane before it crashed into the river.

Rescuers rushed to the scene, where a large portion of the wrecked fuselage jutted out of the shallow Keelung River. Emergency personnel in rubber dinghies crowded around what remained of the plane before it was lifted from the water. Wu Jun-Hong, a Taipei Fire Department official coordinating the rescue, said those unaccounted for are either still in the wreckage or were pulled downriver. “At the moment, things don’t look too optimistic,” Wu said. “Those in the front of the plane are likely to have lost their lives.”

More than half of the 53 passengers and five crewmembers aboard Flight 235 en route to the outlying Taiwan-controlled Kinmen islands were from China. Relatives and friends on Kinmen, which is close to China, gathered at the airport to await news.

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