Pilot cited 'engine flameout' before TransAsia crash

The pilot of an airplane filmed crashing into a river in Taiwan told air traffic controllers the plane was suffering from an engine flameout in the moments before the crash, The Associated Press reports.

Taiwanese airline TransAsia's Flight 235 crashed into the Keelung River after clipping a highway bridge in a video that was captured by a driver crossing the overpass.

Twenty-three people have been confirmed killed in the accident, and 15 others were injured.

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The video of the crash went viral shortly after the accident.

Investigators have recovered the airplane's black box from the river and it reveals the pilot issued an international distress signal in the moments before the crash, according to the report. 

"Mayday, mayday, engine flameout," the pilot is quoted as saying.

The pilot, who died in the accident, is being credited with intentionally steering the disabled plane toward the river to avoid nearby buildings. 

"We really have to thank that pilot. He really tried his hardest," Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je said, according to the report.

The flight, which was en route from Taipei’s Songshan Airport to Kinmen, was reportedly carrying 58 passengers and crew members. 

The incident follows a series of plane crashes and incidents involving Asian airlines, including Malaysia Airlines and AirAsia in recent months.