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Two French passengers on crashed flight in Penghu
Central News Agency
2014-07-24 12:45 AM
Taipei, July 23 (CNA) The Foreign Ministry said that two French nationals were on board the TransAsia Airways flight that crashed in Penghu Wednesday evening, based on information obtained by Taiwan's representative office in France, but it was not immediately clear whether the two were among the survivors of the crash. Before the ministry made its statement, France's office in Taiwan could not immediately confirm their nationality when asked by CNA and said that it is still checking. Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Anna Kao said the ministry has contacted with the French Office in Taipei on the issue to offer its assistance if needed. The TransAsia flight, coded GE 222, crashed in Penghu's Huxi Township amid heavy rain just past 7:06 p.m. As of just past midnight Thursday, the number of people killed remained unclear. Transportation and Communications Minister Yeh Kuang-shih, who set out for Penghu at 11 p.m. Wednesday, 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. The airplane, a twin-engine turboprop ATR 72, crashed into residential buildings and caught fire after losing contact with Magong airport. No residents were killed but several were apparently injured, according to local eyewitnesses. The flight was scheduled to take off from Kaohsiung at 4 p.m., heading for Magong. The departure, however, was delayed until 5:42 p.m. due to bad weather. The Penghu fire department said the passenger aircraft was trying to land in the inclement weather when it crashed on its second attempt. (By Tang Pei-chun and Elizabeth Hsu)
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