Deadly Taiwan Plane Crash In Stormy Weather

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A plane making a second landing attempt in stormy weather crashed at an airport on a small Taiwanese island late Wednesday, killing at least 47 people, officials said.

There were conflicting reports on the death toll. Taiwan's Civil Aeronautics Administration said 47 people were killed, Reuters reports. Fire officials told Taiwan's Central News Agency that 51 people were killed.

"It's chaotic on the scene," Civil Aeronautics Administration director Jean Shen told Reuters.

The Civil Aviation Administration told Central News Agency and Reuters that the flight carried 54 passengers and four flight crew and was operated by a Taiwanese airline, TransAsia Airways.

Taiwan was battered by Typhoon Matmo early Tuesday morning, and the Central Weather Bureau was advising of heavy rain through the evening, even though the center of the storm was in mainland China.

The flight was heading from the capital, Taipei, to the island Penghu, halfway between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan in the Taiwan Strait. Pictures from the airport showed a handful of firefighters using flashlights to look at wreckage in the darkness.

Penghu is a lightly populated island that averages about two flights a day from Taipei.



 
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