TransAsia Airways Flight 235 experienced engine failure shortly before it crashed in the Taiwanese capital, Taipei, on Wednesday, says Thomas Wang, executive director of Taiwan’s Aviation Safety Council.
According to the Associated Press, Wang said that one of the engines failed 37 seconds after the flight became airborne. The other engine, based on a preliminary review of the flight-data recorder, may have been shut down by the pilots in a bid to restart them both. But it is still too early to draw firm conclusions.
In a distress call made by the pilot before the plane went down, he can be heard saying, “Mayday mayday, engine flameout.”
The news comes as TransAsia announced that the death toll had risen to 35, after search teams recovered more bodies from Taipei’s Keelung River.
Officials said 15 people were injured and eight, all Chinese nationals, were still missing, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Flight 235 clipped a bridge and crashed into the river shortly after takeoff from Songshan Airport on Wednesday. The plane lost communication with air-traffic control four minutes after takeoff. It was heading to the Kinmen islands and most of those on board were Chinese tourists.