Din primele informatii prezentate de presa locala, cursa GE 222 a TransAsia Airways ar fi trebuit sa decoleze de pe aeroportul din Kaohsiung la ora locala 4 p.m., insa a plecat spre destinatie abia la ora 5:42 p.m., motivul intarzierii fiind vremea nefavorabila.
Nici in zona aeroportului Magong vremea nu a fost mai buna, din spusele oficialilor plouand torential. Prima tentativa de aterizare a fost ratata din cauza vizibilitatii slabe, insa capitanul a anuntat ca incearca inca o data.
Aceasta a doua tentativa de aterizare a fost fatala, ATR-ul prabusindu-se intr-un cartier situat in imediata vecinatate a aeroportului, doua case fiind cuprinse de foc in urma tragediei.
Oficialii Ministerului Transporturilor au anuntat ca 11 persoane din cele 58 aflate la bord au fost gasite in viata, fiind transportate de urgenta la spital. As many as 47 passengers of a TransAsia Airways flight might have died as it made an emergency landing in Penghu Wednesday evening, Transportation Minister Yeh Kuang-shih said.
Over the course of the evening, the number of casualties repeatedly changed, varying also from source to source. The Penghu Fire Department chief was quoted as saying 51 people died, but later news station TVBS said only one passenger had been confirmed as dead, with eleven saved and the fate of 46 still unclear. Later in the evening, Yeh mentioned 47 dead and 11 survivors.
Flight GE 222 was carrying 54 passengers and four crew members on a flight from Kaohsiung to Makung during stormy weather in the wake of Typhoon Matmo.
The ATR-72 aircraft had been scheduled to leave Kaohsiung at 4 p.m. but departed at 5:43 p.m. because of the poor weather. The pilot was reportedly asked to wait until 7:06 p.m. before being allowed to land.
A first attempt at landing reportedly failed, and the pilot then made a request to make a second try, reports said. Shortly later, the control tower lost contact with the flight, reports said.
The plane reportedly smashed hard into the ground in the township of Huhsi, causing a fire involving two homes. Online pictures showed a heavily damaged house and wreckage from the plane.