An ATR72 aircraft which operated as TransAsia Airways flight 222 carrying 54 passengers and four members of the flight crew from Kaohsiung International Airport to Magong Airport reportedly crashed upon approach in the Penghu Islands west of the main island of Taiwan.
Strong gusting winds — supposedly from Typhoon Matmo, which was impacting Taiwan at the time of the crash — was the reported cause of the aircraft bursting into flames after contacting the ground before reaching the runway. The first approach into the airport was supposedly aborted because of reduced visibility due to heavy rain. The aircraft reportedly crashed into buildings upon its second attempt to approach the runway, leaving debris on the roofs of houses and other buildings.
At least 47 people are reported dead; and 11 addition people suffering from injuries were transported to hospitals.
“What a tragic year for aviation…”, lamented FlyerTalk member bluegreentravel.
Nine additional people with injuries unrelated to the airplane crash were reported as a result of Typhoon Matmo, which made landfall on Taiwan with winds as high as 108 miles per hour. Heavy amounts of rainfall supposedly dumped up to two feet of water in eastern and southeastern regions of Taiwan. Financial markets were closed; and train and airplane transportation was interrupted.
“Bad day to be flying in Taiwan”, posted FlyerTalk member Taipei. “Arrive in KHH late this afternoon from HKG on Dragon Air , arrived 2:30pm very late (2 hours late) after flying around KHH a hour+ and aborted landings from high cross winds from the Typhoon in the area. (if we did not land on this last attempt the captain said would return to HKG) Saw two TransAsia ATR72 at domestic side of terminals at 3pm, wonder if it was one that crashed. Anyways I am happy to be home safe after this bad weather day here in TW.”
FlyerTalk member lin821 reported that “Due to Typhoon Matmo, it’s still windy with heavy rain in Penghu that hampered and slowed down the rescue mission. Forty-six missing are still buried under debris at this very moment.” She also noted that — in addition to the 46 people missing — there are also 11 people injured and one person dead.
I sincerely hope that the information provided by lin821 in terms of the casualties is correct.
In the meantime — as with the tragedy of the Boeing 777-2H6ER aircraft which operated as Malaysia Airlines flight 17 and the March 8, 2014 disappearance of a Boeing 777-200ER aircraft which operated as Malaysia Airlines flight 370 — my thoughts are with the family, friends and colleagues who lost their loved ones in this airplane crash.