A TransAsia Airways plane has crashed after failing to make an emergency landing in Taiwan killing 51 people and injuring 7, according to local reports.

The passenger plane, carrying 58 people, caught fire upon crash landing, striking residential buildings in Taiwan's Penghu island. The flight departed from the capital Taipei at around 5pm local time and was headed for Penghu Magong airport.

Pictures from the scene showed firefighters using flashlights to look at wreckage in the darkness.

Aviation officials said flight GE222 aborted its initial landing and then crashed, local media reported.

Taiwan was battered by Typhoon Matmo with heavy rains and strong winds going up to 173 kph (107 mph), shutting financial markets and schools and leaving one person killed.

Taiwan plane