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TransAsia Airways plane crashes into river

The plane crashed into a river in Taiwan with 58 passengers on board.

A TransAsia Airways passenger plane hit a bridge in Taipei City, in Taiwan before plunging into the river. Picture: AFP

TAIPEI - At least nine people have been confirmed dead and dozens are unaccounted for after a TransAsia Airways plane with 58 passengers and crew crash landed in a Taipei river.

Dramatic pictures have emerged showing the plane rolling over a highway close to the airport soon after it took off.

Emergency rescue officials in inflatable boats have now crowded around the partially submerged fuselage lying on its side in the river, trying to help those on board.

They say 16 people have been rescued meaning as many as 33 people are still missing.

Today's crash landing is the latest in a string of mishaps to hit Asian carriers in the past year.

An AirAsia jet bound for Singapore crashed soon after taking off from Indonesia last month, killing all 162 people on board.

Also last year, a Malaysia Airlines jet disappeared and one of its sister planes was downed over Ukraine with a combined loss of 539 lives.

TransAsia is Taiwan's third-largest carrier. One of its ATR 72-500 planes crashed while trying to land at Penghu Island last year, killing 48 of the 58 passengers and crew on board.

The plane involved in Wednesday's mishap was among the first of the ATR 72-600s, the latest variant of the turboprop aircraft, that TransAsia received in 2014.

They are among an order of eight placed by TransAsia in 2012. The aircraft have 72 seats each. The planes are mainly used to connect Taiwan's capital, Taipei, to the island's smaller cities.

The airline also operates Airbus A320 and A330 planes on domestic and international services.

Additional reporting from Reuters.