Taipei: In what suggests that the TransAsia Airways plane crash landed into Taipei river due to engine failure, a mayday distress call issued by the stricken plane's pilot has surfaced.
According to the message received by the air traffic control, one of the pilots is heard saying, “Mayday, mayday engine flameout”, just moments before the plane descended out-of-control and clipped a bridge before crash landing into the Keelung River.
An engine flameout implies that the plane's engines have gone out of gear either due to obstructed fuel supply or faulty combustion.
The pilot's message suggests that the plane may have undergone an engine failure due to flameout however, a dashboard footage showing the plane's out-of-control descent does not show any flames, reports said.
The audio snippet was released by Taiwan's Civil Aeronautical Administration however the authorities refrained from speculating on the cause of the crash.
Taiwan's TransAsia Airways plane with 53 passengers and 5 crew members plunged into the river shortly after take off on Wednesday.
Rescuers pulled out 15 people to safety while 12 remain unaccounted for according to reports.
31 people have been confirmed killed but the death toll may rise as search for the missing continues today.
TransAsia Airways flight GE235 – a French-made ATR-72 turboprop – was flying from capital city of Taipei to the outlying island of Kinmen. Having taken off from Songshan Airport at 10:45 am, it lost contact with flight controllers just after ten minutes into flight and crash landed in Keelung River in Taipei.
Taiwan's Central News Agency (CNA) said that the plane crashed into river after hitting off Nanhu Bridge. The report added that the pilot appeared to try to control the plane as it descended, but the aircraft's wings hit a taxi, injuring its occupants. However, they were safe.
TransAsia CEO Chen Xinde yesterday apologised to the passengers and their kins for the tragic incident.
Appearing at a news conference in Taiwan, the CEO bowed while offering a "deep apology".
Last time a TransAsia Airways plane met an accident was in July 2014 when 49 were killed when a 70-seat ATR 72 turboprop plane crashed near the runway while trying to land on the small island of Penghu island.