UPDATE: 9:30 AM EST
Authorities say 23 are dead and 20 missing after a TransAsia Airways plane crashed into a river shortly after takeoff from a Taipei airport.
Another 15 survived the crash. In its path, the plane clipped a taxi and an overpass with a wing, and crash landed upside down in the river. The cause of the crash is under investigation, but the last communication from the pilot indicates the plane encountered engine problems before it dramatically careened off its flight path.
The last communication from one of the aircraft’s pilots was “Mayday Mayday engine flameout,” according to an air traffic control recording on liveatc.net.
A flameout occurs when the fuel supply to the engine is interrupted or when there is faulty combustion, resulting in an engine failure. Twin-engined aircraft, however, are usually able to keep flying even when one engine has failed.
The plane was powered by two Pratt & Whitney PW127M engines. Pratt & Whitney is part of United Technologies.
The head of Taiwan’s civil aviation authority, Lin Tyh-ming, said the aircraft last underwent maintenance on Jan. 26. The pilot had 4,916 hours of flying hours under his belt and the co-pilot had 6,922 hours, he said.
An investigation continues.
A TransAsia Airways plane careened into the Keelung river in Taipei, Taiwan on Wednesday, leaving at least 10 people injured out of the 58 reportedly on board.
According to Focus Taiwan, the flight crashed into an elevated bridge and landed in the river. The crash was caught on video by a witness driving on the bridge. The plane was en route to Kinmen Airport before the crash.
Passengers are being rescued by teams, and the extent of their injuries is not known at this time.