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Singapore Airlines Plane Crashes in TaiwanAired October 31, 2000 - 11:04 a.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: We do want to go back to our breaking news, which involves a plane crash. A jetliner -- a Singapore Airlines jetliner that was going from Taipei to Los Angeles crashed earlier today.
For the latest, we wanted to bring in Jason Blatt. He is a journalist with TVBS in Taipei.
Jason, are you with us and can you bring us the latest, please?
JASON BLATT, TVBS REPORTER: Yes. Well, according to what we know right now, a Singapore Airlines Flight 006 from Taipei to Los Angeles took off from the Chang Kai-shek International Airport -- that's in Taoyuan, very near the capital of Taipei -- at 11:18 p.m. local time.
Now, shortly after the plane took off, some witnesses said it might have been -- it looked as if it was wind shear. The plane fell back down to the runway again. And we have unconfirmed reports that when the plane fell back down to the runway, it struck another aircraft belonging to China Airlines and then burst into flames.
Now, we don't know how many passengers were on board, but aviation officials have confirmed that the plane is on fire and that rescue crews have -- right now, they've rushed to the A6 runway at the Chang Kai-shek Airport and are currently right in the middle of trying to rescue as many people as they can.
KAGAN: So Jason, no word so far of survivors or casualties?
BLATT: No, nothing yet, but we do expect footage to be coming in very soon. Some people are suspecting that this apparent wind shear problem may have something to do with there's a typhoon which is moving very close to the island tonight.
KAGAN: Can you give us an idea of what weather conditions are like besides the typhoon that's moving in? Windy, rain?
BLATT: Exactly. It's pretty windy and the rain. And when typhoons approach the island, the weather tends to be -- the wind can shift very suddenly. So this kind of thing -- I mean, of course it doesn't usually happen, but it has happened in the past.
KAGAN: So you're able to tell us that it's Singapore Airlines Flight 006.
KAGAN: Do we know what kind of plane that is?
BLATT: Oh, it's a 747.
KAGAN: So that would seem to indicate a large number of passengers since that's a pretty big plane.
BLATT: Yes, it would. And we would also expect that many of them are probably of foreign nationality.
KAGAN: And what do you know about the other plane that it might have run into, the China Airlines plane?
BLATT: So far nothing. China Airlines is the flagship carrier of Taiwan and they have a fleet of all kinds of different aircraft ranging from the big 747s to, you know, MD-80s and the like. So until we get footage, we won't be able to give you any specific details.
KAGAN: So we have no idea in terms of what kind of flight, what kind of plane that was or where that flight might have been headed.
BLATT: No. That's right. And so far, the aviation officials, all they can say is that, you know, it's very initial and they will only confirm that it's a very serious accident and they expect there to be, you know, many injuries if not deaths. But so far, we don't have any specific statistics.
KAGAN: OK, Jason Blatt, we will be checking back with you.
That's Jason Blatt, journalist with TVBS, bringing us the latest on this plane crash that's taken place in Taipei, Taiwan.
Once again, to let you know what we know so far, it's Singapore Airlines Flight 006 headed from Taipei to Los Angeles. The reporter, Jason Blatt, did mention that there was bad weather in the area.
With more on the weather picture, let's bring in our Flip Spiceland who can tell us a little bit more about what the factors were there -- Flip.
FLIP SPICELAND, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Well, we'll show you the typhoon right here. You can see it clearly. And within the last couple of hours, you can see how it moves up very close to Taipei right in here, the crash on the northern side of the island.
But they have reported at the top of the hour wind gusts of over 65 miles an hour, very close to hurricane strength. That at Taipei. Winds are still coming in from the East around this storm; and very heavy rainfall we are told. And as you can see, the typhoon does take the northerly turn here. Look at it moving almost to the due north here and almost bending back directly toward Taipei.
Don't know at this point, obviously, if the weather is a factor, but obviously the weather is very bad. A typhoon is affecting the area right now.
We'll keep you posted on this. I'll find out a little bit more information. I'm in touch with our international weather office right now. And, Daryn, if something breaks, I'll get back to you.
KAGAN: OK. And, Flip, you make a good point. We don't know if weather is a factor...
KAGAN: ... but just if we could try to picture what the conditions were when this plane did crash. We know it's dark because we know it's at night. We know there's heavy rain.
SPICELAND: And very heavy rain means visibilities are bad, and very, very blustery winds. I can't tell you had there been a thunderstorm in the area. There may have even been thunder and lightening, and that I don't know right now.
KAGAN: All right, Flip Spiceland, we'll let you go gather more information...
KAGAN: ... as you said, from our international weather center. We will carry more.
But just once again, to recap what we know so far, Singapore Airlines Flight 006 on its way from Taipei to Los Angeles has crashed. It crashed at about 11:00 at night Taipei time. The weather was very bad, according to a journalist on the scene. And Flip was also able to describe the typhoon-like conditions that were there. Once again, we don't know if weather is a factor. The reporter on the scene also able to tell us that this flight is a 747. Don't know about number of people on board, casualty or survivors. We continue to gather information. And we will do so, have more for you.
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