The bodies of the pilot and co-pilot were retrieved from the wreckage of a plane that crashed into a river in Taiwan killing at least 31 people, media reports said Thursday. TransAsia Airways flight GE235 was en route from Taipei’s Songshan Airport to Kinmen Island with 53 passengers and five crew members on board when it hurtled into a river after take-off at 10:52 am (0252 GMT) Wednesday, clipping a bridge and missing tall buildings nearby.
The bodies of pilot Liao Chien-tsung and co-pilot Liu Tzu-chung were among those found at the site, state-run Central News Agency reported.
More parts of the TransAsia Airways plane were lifted out of a river in Taipei early Thursday after cranes were used to hoist part of the wreckage Wednesday, CNA reported.
Fifteen injured survivors are in hospital and 12 people remain missing, the report said. There were 31 Chinese tourists and 22 Taiwanese passengers on board. According TransAsia Airways, 34 family members of Chinese passengers will arrive in Taiwan Thursday, some of whom will be asked to help identify unknown victims.
Chinese tourism officials from Xiamen in Fujian Province are scheduled to arrive in Taiwan Thursday afternoon. Taiwan’s minister for the Mainland Affairs Council, a government body that deals with the Beijing authorities, said it would offer assistance to the family members of the affected Chinese tourists. SAPA