Dramatic video shows TransAsia Airways plane moments before crash
(ABC News) TAIPEI, Taiwan – Dramatic dash cam footage in Taiwan shows a TransAsia Airways plane scraping past a major highway moments before it careened into a shallow river, killing at least 19 people, with 24 others missing.
The plane, which was carrying 58 people, clipped a bridge shortly after Wednesday’s takeoff from Taipei’s downtown Sungshan Airport, state media said. The plane was visible from Taiwan’s busy National Freeway No. 1 just seconds before the crash.
The plane can be seen veering sharply, with the wing striking a vehicle and barrier on the plane’s descent.
Parts of the wrecked fuselage of the turboprop ATR 72 jutted out of the Keelung River just a couple dozen yards from the shore.
The main section of fuselage was on its side, missing a wing.
Rescuers clustered around the plane in rubber boats more than two hours after the crash, and could be seen pulling carry-on luggage from an open plane door.
The rescue efforts are ongoing.
Four children were among the passengers, authorities said at a press conference. All passengers were Chinese or Taiwanese.
Officials said the plane joined the airline’s fleet in September and had completed a safety check on Jan. 26. Authorities also said that the pilot had more than 4,400 hours of flying experience, while the co-pilot had over 6,000 hours.
The crash marks the second tragedy involving one of TransAsia’s French-made ATR 72 planes in the past year. In July, a flight crashed while attempting to land on the island of Penghu off Taiwan’s coast, killing 48 people and injuring another 10. Stormy weather and low visibility were suspected as factors in that crash.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.