47 Dead in air accident in Taiwan

Beijing, Jul 23 (EFE).- At least 47 people were killed and 11 others injured when a passenger plane made an emergency landing on a Taiwanese island, the country's transport ministry said.

Fifty-four passengers and a crew of four were aboard the twin-engine turbo-prop ATR 72 operated by Taiwan's TransAsia Airways.

The accident occurred when, for as yet unknown reasons, the pilot tried to make an emergency landing at the Magong airport on the island of Penghu, to the west of Taiwan.

Flight GE222 took off from the southwestern Taiwanese city of Kaohsiung more than an hour late due to poor weather conditions resulting from Typhoon Matmo, which hit Taiwan on Wednesday, and it was scheduled to land at Penghu 30 minutes later.

The pilot asked permission from the tower to circle the airport before trying to land at Magong and during that maneuver contact was lost with the jet, Sheng Ching, head of Taiwan's Civil Aeronautics Administration, told a press conference.

At present, further details about the accident are still pending.