LA-Bound Airliner, 179 on Board, Crashes in Taiwan : LUSENET : TB2K spinoff uncensored : One Thread

Tuesday October 31 11:47 AM ET

LA-Bound Airliner, 179 on Board, Crashes in Taiwan


TAIPEI (Reuters) - A Singapore Airlines plane bound for Los Angeles crashed during a typhoon at Taiwan's international airport on Tuesday, an airport police official said.

It was not immediately known how many of the 159 passengers and 20 crew were killed or injured, Civil Aeronautics Administration deputy director Chang Kuo-cheng told reporters.

``The plane burst into flames and exploded shortly after takeoff,'' an airport police official told reporters.

Local television was reporting that over 120 injured had been taken to hospital.

The SIA Boeing 747-400 was taking off during a storm and hit by strong winds. It hit two other planes on the tarmac, including a China Airlines plane, police said.

A Taiwan vice transport minister said no one was on board the other two planes.

The injured were rushed to hospital. No other details were immediately available.

It was the first major crash in Taiwan since 1998. In February that year, 202 people were killed when a China Airlines Airbus A300-600R crashed in the island's worst aviation disaster.

Tuesday's accident took place as a typhoon was approaching the island. The Taiwan Central Weather Bureau had issued a storm warning.

Typhoon Xangsane, packing maximum sustained winds of 80 mph and gusts of up to 103 mph, brought steady rain to Taiwan over the weekend.

-- (hmm@hmm.hmm), October 31, 2000

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