Family members of victims of yesterday evening’s crash of a TransAsia Airways twin-engine turboprop airplane in Penghu arrived on the outlying island earlier this morning – landing at Magong Airport just after 7 o’clock from Kaohsiung.

Their arrival coincided with TransAsia confirming that 48 people died and ten others were injured in yesterday’s crash.

The 58 people on board included three foreigners – two French nationals and a Hong Kong resident.

Officials say the French Foreign Ministry has been informed of the crash and death of the French nationals.

The survivors of the crash suffered various injuries, and all but one remain hospitalized.

TransAsia says one of the injured passengers has now returned home.

Four of the injured are being treated at the Penghu Hospital and the six others are receiving treatment the Penghu Tri-Services Hospital.

Several buildings in Xi-Xi Village were destroyed in the crash.

Authorities say five people on the ground were injured.

However, the Civil Aeronautics Administration says all five of them have now been discharged from local hospitals.

TransAsia officials this morning announced it has offered the families of the victims financial compensation and funds to cover funeral expenses.

However, airline company employees refused to comment on a possible cause of the accident – saying the company is awaiting results of the official investigation into the accident.

The pilot of the 14-year-old twin-engine turboprop ATR 72 aircraft had 22 years of flying experience, and the co-pilot had two-and-a-half years experience.

President Ma Ying-jeou has described the accident as a “very sad day in the history of Taiwan aviation”.

Transport Minister Yeh Kuang-shih and other senior aviation officials also arrived in Penghu earlier this morning to begin a formal investigation into the cause of what is Taiwan’s worst air traffic incident in 12 years.

Yeh was accompanied by Civil Aeronautics Administration Director-General Jean Shen and investigators from the Aviation Safety Council.

There have been questions about whether the aircraft should have been allowed to operate yesterday following Typhoon Matmo’s passing over Taiwan.

CAA Director-General Shen told reporters in the hours following the crash that weather conditions at Magong Airport were suitable for landing, with visibility of 1,600 meters and a Far Eastern Air Transport flight and a UNI Air flight landing safely just prior to the accident.

However, the head of the Aviation Safety Council Wang Xing-chong says it currently remains unclear whether the crash of flight GE Triple 2 was a result of inclement weather or human error.


More in Related News :

Plane crash on Penghu kills dozens Taipei Times Jul 24, 2014

Dozens Die in Plane Crash in Taiwan Storm The New York Times Jul 23, 2014


Image via the Wall Street Journal