TransAsia plane crash kills 12 in Taiwan

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  • Replay of similar mishap in NY in 2009

TAIPEI:  At least twelve people were killed when a TransAsia plane with 58 people on board, including five crew members, crashed into a river in Taiwan on Wednesday morning, according to agency reports.

Dramatic footage captured from a car dashboard showed that the turboprop aircraft clipped a bridge shortly after takeoff and crashed into Keelung River.  Rescue teams rushed to the crash site where a large portion of the wrecked fuselage jutted out of the shallow river with one wing missing.

Before careening out of control, the plane hit a taxi travelling on the road causing injuries to the driver. The aircraft was carrying tourists from Taipei to the island of Kinmen, which lies off the Chinese coast.

 When reports last came in, as many as 30 persons were listed as missing and 16 injured. Efforts to rescue the missing persons were underway, said Taipei’s Central News Agency.

Similar mishap in New York in 2009

The mishap was reminiscent of a similar accident in Hudson river in New York on January 15, 2009. An Airbus A320-200 of US Airways was forced to ditch into the river after it hit a flock of Canada geese causing loss of engine power.

Fortunately, all the 155 occupants of the aircraft were rescued safely while the plane was still afloat but was slowly sinking. It came to be known as “Miracle on the Hudson” for the miraculous escape of the passengers. The entire crew was given awards while 57-year-old Chesley B. Sullenberger, a former fighter pilot, became a national hero in the United States for his presence of mind and dexterity.

The year 2014 was one of the deadliest for the aviation industry since 2005 with 884 lives lost globally. Malaysian Airlines lost two Boeing 777s, one in the Indian Ocean while MH17 was shot down over Ukraine, allegedly by Russian-backed rebels. More recently, Air Asia lost a plane in the Java Sea near Indonesia killing all 162 passengers and crew on board.

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