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Taiwan recovers last missing victim of TransAsia crash
[TAIPEI] Taiwanese rescuers on Thursday recovered the remains of the last missing passenger in last week's TransAsia plane crash, bringing the death toll to 43 in the airline's second fatal accident in seven months.
The body of a Chinese national identified as Chen Rentai was located still attached to his seat about three kilometres from the site where the plane plunged into a river in Taipei, said the national fire agency.
TransAsia Airways Flight GE235 crashed shortly last Wednesday after take-off from Songshan airport with 53 passengers and five crew on board. Fifteen people survived.
Amateur dramatic dashcam images showed the ill-fated plane hitting an elevated road as it banked steeply away from buildings before crashing into the Keelung River.
The airline announced that it will cancel another 44 flights on Friday after ten of its pilots were banned from flying temporarily pending further qualification training after failing a flight skills test imposed by the authorities.
Taiwan's aviation regulator ordered the airline's pilots to take an oral test on basic operating and emergency procedures for the French-made aircraft, after initial findings pointed to pilot error as being behind last week's crash.
Of TransAsia's 68 pilots trained to fly ATR planes, 19 have not yet taken the test, because they are either on training programmes abroad or sick leave, and have been ordered not to fly in the interim, the CAA said.
The airline has said it would offer Tw$14.9 million (S$640,000) in compensation for each person who died, after it made a similar payout to the families of 48 passengers killed in another crash last July.
Investigators are still trying to establish what caused last week's crash.
But initial reports from the black boxes found the plane's right engine had "flamed out" about two minutes after take-off while the left engine was then shut down manually by the crew for unknown reasons, according to Taiwan's Aviation Safety Council.
Analysts have said the pilots may have caused the crash by turning off the wrong engine.