A terrifying TransAsia Airways plane crash that killed at least 23 people Wednesday morning was caught on camera as it plunged into a river in China. Authorities say they believe the problem was a technical one related to fuel supply or engine failure.
The ATR-72 turbo-prop plane was carrying 53 passengers, mostly Chinese tourists, and five crew members when it crashed into the Keelung River shortly after taking off from an airport in Taipei, reports BBC News.
The plane was reportedly headed to the Kinmen islands when air traffic control reported receiving a message from its pilots at 10:55 local time that stated, “Mayday, mayday, engine flame out.”
Video footage taken from people inside of passing vehicles shows the plane hitting a taxi and clipping the bridge before falling into the river.
A massive rescue effort is still under way, with people reportedly standing on broken pieces of the plane and attempting to pull trapped passengers out of the aircraft with ropes.
Some passengers have reportedly been able to swim away from the wreckage. Authorities say 15 people have reportedly survived the crash and another 20 are still missing. Reports say that at least 23 people are dead. The plane’s black boxes have reportedly been recovered.
This is the second time this year a TransAsia plane crashed. Last July, 48 passengers reportedly died when a TransAir flight crashed in inclement weather.
TransAsia chief Chen Xinde held a televised news conference after today’s incident and offered a “deep apology” before saying, “Both our planes and our flight safety systems are following strict regulations, so we also want to know what caused the new plane model to crash, but I don’t want to speculate.”