TransAsia plane crashes into Taiwan river, up to 11 dead

At least 11 people have been killed after a regional TransAsia passenger flight carrying 58 crash-landed into a river in northern Taiwan. Incredible video-footage of the crash has emerged, showing the jet nearly hitting a highway as it ditched.

Dramatic dash-cam footage captured TransAsia Airways flight GE235 as it descended out-of-control towards a highway, moments before slamming into the Keelung River near the Taiwanese capital, Taipei.

The plane was carrying 58 passengers and crew, including 31 tourists from mainland China, Reuters reported. Taiwan’s Civil Aviation Authority [CAA] reported 16 people had been rescued; 33 people are still unaccounted for.

Latest reports from the scene of the crash confirm one fatality and 10 others who “show no sign of life,” according to officials from the Taiwan Fire Department, as quoted by Reuters.

Taiwanese officials said the aircraft, a turboprop ATR 72-600, crashed shortly after takeoff from Taipei Songshan Airport.

The aircraft was filmed as it passes close to some buildings before careening towards a highway. Moments before impact, the plane turns on its side, its left wing shearing the overpass guardrail as well as clipping the roof of a moving vehicle. The plane’s belly is clearly visible as the aircraft narrowly misses a full crash into the roadway.

TransAsia plane crashes into Taiwan river
Rescuers carry out a rescue operation after a TransAsia Airways plane crash landed in a river, in New Taipei City, February 4, 2015. (Reuters/Pichi Chuang)

Amazingly, the pilots were able to ditch the plane into the river flowing alongside the highway, which explains how some passengers survived the crash. Television footage showed several passengers wearing life jackets swimming clear of the wreckage.

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The death toll is expected to climb as rescue crews continue their effort to find survivors in the mostly submerged aircraft. Dozens of rescue teams in small rubber rafts are seen delivering what appear to be bodies covered in white sheets to the shore, just a few dozen meters (yards) away from the aircraft.