Taipei/Beijing, Feb 5:
Toll in the TransAsia Airways plane crash in Taiwan has risen to 31, Xinhua news agency reported Thursday.
Flight GE235, which was heading to Kinmen in China from Taipei with 53 passengers on board, including five crew members, crashed into the Keelung river in Taipei Wednesday morning, ten minutes after it tookeoff.
The crash also left 15 injured, and 12 missing, according to updates of local civil aeronautics authority as of 6 a.m. Thursday.
Bodies of the captain and two co-pilots have been discovered, and the plane’s two black boxes recovered.
According to latest information from Taiwan authorities, six of the 31 Chinese mainland passengers were confirmed dead and three others injured.
The rescue work had been suspended since 2 a.m., and had not resumed until around 6.30 a.m.. The head and several other segments of the plane have been raised out of the water.
The plane has been in service since April 2014 and was subject to a routine safety check last month, according to Taipei authorities.
The aircraft plunged into the river at 10.55 a.m. Wednesday after its wing clipped a taxi on an elevated freeway.
Taiwan’s civil aeronautics authority has decided to conduct safety check on the island’s 22 ATR-72 aircraft before they were allowed to fly.
It was not the first time that the ATR-72 aircraft had crashed in Taiwan. On July 23, 2014, TransAsia Airways flight GE222, also an ATR-72 aircraft, crashed on Taiwan’s Penghu islands, killing 48 people.
The airline, founded in 1951, was Taiwan’s first private airline, mainly focusing on short overseas flights.