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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Taiwan Tightens Airplane Security After 2nd Incident




TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Flight safety and security checks were tightened Wednesday following a pair of Taiwanese airplane disasters, and officials said the explosion and fire on a domestic jet must have been caused by something brought aboard.


Checks of carry-on baggage were toughened at all domestic airports amid reports that the inferno that broke out just after the UNI Airlines flight landed on Taiwan's east coast Tuesday might have been caused by flammable goods carried on by a passenger. Twenty-eight people were hospitalized, two with serious burns.


Newspapers and television stations said a bag that may have contained a camping stove, bottled fuel and insect repellent was carried onto flight B7-873.


Meanwhile, China Airlines says it has improved standards for safe landings amid indications that the pilot of one of its jets was descending in dangerously high cross winds before crashing in Hong Kong during a tropical storm Sunday, killing two people and injuring more than 200.


In Hong Kong, investigations continued into the crash of China Airlines flight CI642 from Bangkok, which flipped upside down and burst into flames after its right wing clipped the runway while landing in a tropical storm.


In response to the crash of the MD-11 jet, China Airlines has ordered its pilots not to land when cross winds exceed 37 kilometers per hour, down from the previous safety threshold of 44 kilometers per hour.


Chang Kuo-cheng, deputy head of Taiwan's Civil Aeronautics Administration, said Tuesday that the plane's pilot had been misled into thinking that cross winds were within a safe velocity. For unknown reasons, the copilot, Liu Cheng-hsi, had told the pilot, Gerardo Lettich, that the winds were blowing at 42 kilometers per hour but in fact they were blowing at 48 kilometers per hour, Chang said.