From the start of the TransAsia Airways flight in Taiwan’s capital survivor Huang Jin-sun suspected trouble. CCTV correspondents Li Nan and Tony Cheng reported this story.
“There was some sound next to me. It did not feel right shortly after takeoff. The engine did not feel right,” the 72-year-old man told ETTV television Thursday from his hospital bed.
Huang was one of 15 people who survived when the turbojet carrying 58 people crashed Wednesday into the city’s Keeling River minutes after takeoff. At least 32 people died and 11 are still missing.
Moments before the plane banked sharply and crashed, one of its pilots told the control tower, “Mayday, mayday, engine flameout,” according to an aviation official who asked not to be identified.
“Engine flameout” refers to flames being extinguished in the combustion chamber of the engine, so that it shuts down and no longer drives the propeller. Causes could include a lack of fuel or being struck by volcanic ash, a bird or some other object. “Mayday” is an international distress call.
Taiwan plane crash survivor says engine ‘did not feel right’As the search-and-rescue efforts continue, doctors are also doing everything they can to save the injured. CCTV’s correspondent Li Nan reported this story from Taipei.
The airline and the Taiwan Civil Aeronautical Administration have declined to speculate on the cause of the crash, the latest in a series of disasters befalling Asian airlines. However the aviation authority has grounded all of the ATR twin propeller planes for extra safety checks.
The ATR 72-600 plane, less than a year old, had one of its engines replaced by Pratt & Whitney Canada last April before it went into service because of a glitch with the original engine, the airline said.
At the crash site, heavy cranes lift bits of the plane onto dry ground to be searched and moved away for analysis. Divers scoured the depths of the river for those that remain unaccounted for, but the conditions have not been kind.
The fuselage is broken up in pieces, which makes the rescue and search operation quite difficult. Also the rescue team faces the difficulty of the strong current in the river. The water is quite murky and there is no visibility.
The plane’s black boxes were recovered overnight and are likely to provide more clues.
As the search-and-rescue efforts continue, doctors are also doing everything they can to save the injured.
Search crews work to recover evidence from Taiwan plane crashFifteen injured passengers were sent to eight local hospitals, after being rescued from the crash site. Among them, a mainland tourist is still in critical condition.
Fifteen injured passengers were sent to eight local hospitals, after being rescued from the crash site. Among them, a mainland tourist is still in critical condition.
“He suffers from multiple bone fractures. He also has collapsed lungs. After blood transfusions on Wednesday, he is more stable now. He is now at the ICU, waiting to undergo further operations,” Sheng-Huang Hsiao at Taipei city hospital Zhongxiao branch said.
For those who survived the tragic accident, physical recovery is the first step.
“There’s a risk that the rescued passengers could suffer from post-accident trauma. After a tragedy like this, I believe they will need some psychological help,” Hsiao said.
Meanwhile, across the Taiwan Strait in Xiamen, in South China’s Fujian province, 17 family members of mainland passengers boarded a flight to Taiwan Thursday morning.
Some of them still don’t know whether their loved ones are alive or dead.
“We have assigned one assistant for each family, to comfort them and help them with related issues while they’re in Taiwan,” Li Song from Xiamen Tourism Group said.
A second group of family members is expected to travel to Taiwan on Friday.
TransAsia has said it was preparing to make payments to the relatives of the victims.
Read more about the crash HERE
Story compiled with information from CCTV America and AP reports.