1 year ago today, TransAsia Airways Flight GE235 (B-22816) was a domestic flight from Taipei Songshan Airport, Taiwan to Kinmen Airport, Taiwan. The ATR 72-600 was carrying 53 passengers & 5 crew members.
TransAsia Airways Flight GE235 departed from Taipei Songshan Airport at 10:52 a.m. Taiwan time (02:52 UTC), for its destination of Kinmen Airport. It climbed to an altitude of 1,500 feet (460 m) and then began descending until it crashed. The last pilot communication to air traffic control was “Mayday, mayday, engine flameout.” At 10:54, the aircraft crashed into the Keelung River, on the border of Nangang District of Taipei and Xizhi District of New Taipei.
The crash was recorded by the dashcams in several cars travelling west along the elevated Huandong Viaduct next to the river. The aircraft, flying level, first cleared an apartment building. Then rolled sharply, at nearly a 90-degree bank angle, left wing down. As the aircraft flew low over the elevated viaduct, its left wingtip struck the front of a taxi travelling west on the viaduct, and the outboard section of the wing was torn off when it struck the concrete guardrail at the edge of the viaduct. The aircraft continued its roll and impacted the water upside down, breaking into two main pieces. Two people in the taxi were injured.
Taipei police and fire departments received dozens of calls from eyewitnesses, almost immediately after the crash. The Taipei Fire Department, military and volunteer rescue workers arrived at the crash scene only minutes later. They began removing survivors from the rear section of the semi-submerged fuselage and ferried them to shore in inflatable boats. Divers were forced to cut the seat belts of dead passengers, located mostly in the front section, to remove their bodies. That work was made difficult by low visibility underwater.