Holidaymakers Die in Air Crash; 200 Killed as Airliner Turns into a Fireball

The Birmingham Post (England), February 17, 1998 | Go to article overview

Holidaymakers Die in Air Crash; 200 Killed as Airliner Turns into a Fireball


A Taiwan airliner bringing holidaymakers home from Bali crashed in a fireball at Taipei's international airport, killing all 197 people aboard and two on the ground, officials said.

Some of the wreckage hit a residential area near the airport after the plane, a China Airlines Airbus 300, crashed in fog. Homes caught fire and a number of people were injured.

Two hours after the crash, rescue workers pulled one infant alive from the wreckage. The child had not been aboard the flight but inside one of the homes hit by the aircraft.

Among the passengers and presumed dead were Taiwan's central bank governor Mr Sheu Yuan-dong, his wife, and three bank officials who had been on the Indonesian holiday island for a meeting of South-East Asia central bankers.

A Foreign Office spokesman said the Taiwanese authorities did not believe any British citizens were on board the airbus.

None of the 182 passengers and 15 crew aboard China Airlines Flight CI676 was believed to have survived the crash, the result of a failed landing, officials said.

"Judging from the scene there is little chance of there being any survivors," an airport official said.

The crash area was a scene of total devastation, with bodies wrapped in white plastic lined up in long rows as rescue workers scoured the wreckage for signs of life.

The air disaster was the worst in Taiwan history, although not the worst for Taiwan's leading carrier. A China Airlines Airbus 300 crashed into a mountain in Nagoya, Japan, in 1994, killing 264 passengers and crew.

Heavy fog that apparently contributed to the crash still hung over the scene two hours later.

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Holidaymakers Die in Air Crash; 200 Killed as Airliner Turns into a Fireball
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