Survivors of Taiwan air crash were all seated in rear of plane

[TAIPEI] Survivors of TransAsia Airways Corp flight GE235 that crashed into a river in Taipei were seated toward the rear of the plane, the section of an aircraft typically considered the safest zone in the event of a crash.

Each of the 14 passengers who lived through the Feb 4 crash had seats in or behind Row 11 of the single-aisle, 72-seat ATR72-600 aircraft, based on a seating chart and survivor list from TransAsia. The 15th survivor was one of two flight attendants on the aircraft.

At least 31 people have been confirmed dead and another 12 are missing after a pilot of the twin-engine turboprop made a Mayday call two minutes after taking off from downtown Taipei's Songshan airport. The two pilots of the nine-month old aircraft and an observer in the cockpit are among those killed.

Listed as injured in the crash are a two year old boy and a 71 year old man, according to a flight manifest released by the company. Chinese passengers accounted for 31 of those on board the flight from Taipei to Taiwan's outlying Kinmen island, with three of those people listed as injured.

The three patients at Taipei's Tri-Service General Hospital are each in a stable condition with minor injuries, Superintendent Yu Jyh-Cherng told Bloomberg News today. One of the patients has facial lacerations and another a dislocated shoulder, he said.

The ATR aircraft, a twin-engine turbo-propeller model carrying 53 passengers and five crew, lost contact with the ground within four minutes, the airline's Chief Executive Officer Peter Chen said.

Footage taken from a dashboard-mounted camera in a car showed the plane's wings tilted at a steep angle as it swerved over a bridge, with one tip clipping a taxi and the railing before plunging into the Keelung River. Two people in the taxi sustained injuries, the city government said.


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