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TransAsia issues apology over deadly crash in Penghu
Central News Agency
2014-07-24 12:36 AM
Taipei, July 24 (CNA) Local carrier TransAsia Airways apologized Wednesday over the fatal crash of its Flight GE 222 on the outlying island county of Penghu Wednesday evening, vowing to provide assistance to the families of the victims. Chooi Yee-choong, TransAsia's general manager, bowed in "apology for the unfortunate incident" when speaking to the media at the Taipei International (Songshan) Airport just before 11 p.m., about three hours after the incident. Chooi said his company will go all-out to help the families of the victims deal with the aftermath of the crash and to assist with the Civil Aeronautics Administration's investigation into the cause of the accident. The airline has arranged a chartered flight for Thursday morning to take the families of the flight's passengers and crew to Penghu, he said. He added that the airliner has set up a emergency center to handle relevant matters. The survivors of the flight have been sent to Penghu Hospital and the military hospital there to receive medial treatment. As of midnight Thursday, the number of people killed remained unclear. Transportation and Communications Minister Yeh Kuang-shih confirmed that 54 passengers and four crew members were on board the flight . He initially said 47 people had died, but later said that 12 had survived, 46 "were missing," and around a dozen bodies had been found at the crash site. GE 222, was scheduled to take off from Kaohsiung at 4 p.m. for Magong but was delayed until 5:42 p.m. due to bad weather. As the plane was preparing to land at Magong Airport in heavy rain, it was forced to pull up because of poor visibility, the Penghu County Fire Bureau said. On its second attempt to land, the aircraft crashed in the Huxi Township, which is adjacent to the airport's runway, according to the fire bureau. According to the list of the passengers, two seemed to be foreign nationals, with local media indicating they were likely French. The French representative office in Taiwan could not immediately confirm whether or not they were French nationals. (By Angela Tsai, Elaine Hou, Wang Shu-fen, Lee Hsin-Yin and Tang Pei-chun)
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