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Plane crashes in Taiwan capital

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A passenger plane with 58 people on board crashed into a river after hitting a bridge in the Taiwanese capital Wednesday, leaving at least eight people dead. Some 28 passengers of TransAsia Airways flight GE235 were sent to hospital, the Taipei city government said, quoting the fire department.

It said nine people had died, while state-run Central News Agency put the toll at eight, without specifying its source. Television images showed police and firemen trying to rescue passengers from the broken fuselage in the city’s Keelung River.

The twin-engine ATR 72 turboprop crashed shortly after takeoff from Taipei’s Songshan Airport, en route to Kinmen Island, with 53 passengers and five crew, CNA reported.

Before falling into the river, the plane avoided the tall buildings of Taipei’s Nangang district but its wing hit a bridge and a taxi on the bridge at the time, an online video showed.

The plane lost radio contact shortly after it took off at 10:52 (0252 GMT), according to the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA).
Aviation authority director Lin Chih-ming said the 53 passengers included 31 Chinese tourists.

Lin said the type of the plane was the same as that in a crash in Penghu in July 2014. The crash in Penghu of TransAsia Airways Flight GE222 in July caused 48 deaths. SAPA

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