Air crash...A TransAsia Airways passenger jet has crashed while making an emergency landing in Taiwan. Picture: File Source: Supplied
A PLANE making a second landing attempt in stormy weather has crashed at an airport on a small Taiwanese island, killing at least 47 people.
Taiwan's Transport Minister Yeh Kuang-shih was quoted by the government's Central News Agency as saying 47 people were trapped and feared dead, and another 11 people were injured after the plane crashed and caught fire while making a second landing attempt while being battered by typhoon winds. The plane reportedly lost contact with the control tower while coming in to land.
There were conflicting reports on the death toll from local officials and media, with Taiwan's Civil Aeronautics Administration putting the toll at 51, reports AFP.
The plane had 58 people on board - 54 passengers and four crew members.
The flight was heading from the capital, Taipei, to the island Penghu, halfway between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan in the Taiwan Strait when it attempted an emergency landing in the city of Magong. The plane lost contact with the control tower, reports AFP.
A local fire brigade chief earlier said 51 people had been killed.
Flight GE222, an ATR-72 aircraft operated by Taiwanese airline TransAsia Airways, was heading from the southern port city of Kaohsiung to the island Penghu, halfway between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan in the Taiwan Strait, according to the Taiwanese news agency.
It crashed outside the airport in Xixi village, and pictures showed in local media showed a handful of firefighters using flashlights to look at wreckage in the darkness.
Images from the scene appeared to show the jet had crashed onto a building.
Penghu is a lightly populated island that averages about two flights a day from Taipei.
Transport minister Mr Yeh was quoted as saying the flight carried 58 passengers and crew members.
Taiwan was battered by Typhoon Matmo early Tuesday morning, and the Central Weather Bureau was advising of heavy rain through the evening, even though the centre of the storm was in mainland China.