A passenger plane trying to land at a Taiwan airport in stormy, Typhoon-like weather crashed and killed 47 people.
2014: not a good year for aviation.
Flying during the tail end of Typhoon Matmo, pilots on a TransAsia Airways turboprop plane made a second attempt to land but instead the plane crashed and caught fire in the Penghu Islands. The failed emergency landing left 47 people dead, 11 injured, and multiple buildings ablaze.
“It was thunderstorm conditions during the crash,” said Hsi Wen-guang, Penghu County Government Fire Bureau spokesman.
“From the crash site we sent 11 people to hospital with injuries. A few empty apartment buildings adjacent to the runway caught fire, but no-one was inside at the time and the fire was extinguished.”
The flight was from Taipei, the capital, to the island of Penghu, which is halfway to the Chinese mainland. Although Typhoon Matmo had caused many flights to be cancelled, by the time the TransAsia flight was scheduled to take off, the typhoon warning had been lifted – a little prematurely in hindsight.
So far, 2014 is not shaping up to be a banner year in terms of air travel. With Wednesday’s crash in Taiwan and the two Malaysia Airlines flights, the total death toll for 2014 is now 606 (compared with 489 in 2013 and 439 in 2012).
Of course, MH370 could be just flying around somewhere still. Or all the passengers could be living on the moon…