At least 25 people have been killed after a TransAsia Airways plane with 58 passengers and crew on board crashed into a river shortly after taking off from an airport in Taipei.

As many as 28 people have escaped death after the plane lurched sickeningly between buildings, clipped an overpass with its port-side wing and crashed upside down in the shallow river.

Footage from a dash-cam (dashboard camera) showed the plane's port-side wing clipping an overpass after it missed what appeared to be apartment buildings by metres. A van skidded to a halt, just missing the stricken plane's wing.

Amateur footage shows close call with TransAsia crashIBTimes UK

The last communication from one of the aircraft's pilots was "Mayday Mayday engine flame-out", according to an air traffic control recording on liveatc.net.

A flame-out occurs when the fuel supply to the engine is interrupted or when there is faulty combustion, resulting in an engine failure. Twin-engined aircraft, however, are usually able to keep flying even when one engine has failed.

Emergency rescue officials in inflatable boats crowded around the partially submerged fuselage of flight GE235, lying on its side in the river.

Television footage showed passengers wearing life jackets wading and swimming out of the river. Taiwanese broadcaster TVBS had a video of a baby being rescued.

Taiwan plane crash photos
Rescue teams work to free people from the TransAsia Airways ATR 72-600 turboprop plane that crashed into the Keelung River shortly after take-off from Taipei Songshan airportAshley Pon/Getty Images
Taiwan plane crash photos
Rescue personnel pull a passenger out of the TransAsia Airways plane that crashed into the Keelung RiverAshley Pon/Getty Images
Taiwan plane crash photos
Rescue personnel transport passengers to land from the wreckage of the TransAsia ATR 72-600 turboprop planeSam Yeh/AFP
Taiwan plane crash photos
An injured passenger is helped onto the river bank by emergency personnelSam Yeh/AFP
Taiwan plane crash photos
An injured passenger is stretchered by emergency personnel along the river bankSam Yeh/AFP
Taiwan plane crash photos
Rescue personnel transfer an injured passenger into an ambulanceSam Yeh/AFP
Taiwan plane crash photos
Rescuers and soldiers remove plane parts after a TransAsia plane crashed into a river in New Taipei CityPichi Chuang/Reuters
Taiwan plane crash photos
A member of a rescue crew carries a plane window out of the Keelung RiverAshley Pon/Getty Images
Taiwan plane crash photos
Police control traffic on the motorway near the wreckage of a TransAsia Airways plane that hit a bridgeReuters

Taipei's Songshan airport, the smaller of the city's two airports, provides mostly domestic flights but also connections to Japan, China and South Korea.

A statement from China's Taiwan Affairs Office said 31 of those on board were tourists from the south-eastern city of Xiamen, which lies close to Taiwan's Kinmen island.