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May 27, 2017

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MOTC heads up investigation of GE-222 tragedy

In the wake of a crash landing by TransAsia Airways' passenger plane, flight GE-222, Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) instructed the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) to investigate the accident and take the lead in future official matters.

Vice Premier Mao Chi-kuo (毛治國), Transportation Minister Yeh Kuang-shih (葉匡時) and the head of the Civil Aeronautics Administration then gathered at Taipei Songshan Airport for an emergency meeting.

Yeh is scheduled to take the first flight to Penghu today. The Fire Bureau of the Penghu County Government is in charge of the rescue efforts.

President Ma Ying-jeou was also notified immediately after the accident occurred. Ma was deeply troubled over the incident and was in contact with Premier Jiang right afterwards. Presidential Office spokeswoman Ma Wei-kuo (馬瑋國) said the accident is one of the most tragic incidents in recent years and as such, has President Ma's complete attention. Ma requested full support and assistance from nationals in Taiwan.

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), the nation's major opposition party, also expressed its condolences last night. DPP Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) called on the government to try its best in the rescue efforts and to provide full assistance to victims' families.

In a gesture to express his condolences, the opposition-aligned Taipei mayoral candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) canceled today's press conference slated to announce his policy. Along with former Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) and Former Premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷), they all expressed their deep condolences on Facebook.

TransAsia Airways President Expresses Apology

As of press time, 46 people are feared dead while 12 people are injured. While the passengers' families are greatly disturbed by the tragedy, they were not able to reach the scene yesterday.

In a press conference held at the Taipei Songshan Airport at 10 p.m., TransAsia Airways president Chooi Yee-choong (徐以聰) apologized for the tragedy to the public, bowing his head twice. The airliner promised to fly the victims' families to Penghu at 6 a.m. today. The company has also set up an emergency hotline (0800-719-988) for passengers' families to ask for more information.

TransAsia Airways' share price closed at NT$11.9 on July 22. Analysts expect its share price to plummet when the stock market opens today.

Established in 1951, TransAsia Airways is Taiwan's first civil airline operator. While it focuses mainly on the domestic market, it now has more than 15 scheduled international routes flying to Japan, China and Southeast Asian countries. TransAsia Airways' scale of operations is only smaller than EVA Air and China Airlines.

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