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President, premier visit air crash survivors, 35 bodies identified

President, premier visit air crash survivors, 35 bodies identified

Taipei, July 25 (CNA) Taiwan's president and premier on Friday visited some of the injured survivors from the TransAsia Airways crash in the outlying island county of Penghu, while some bodies of those who perished were transported back to Taiwan proper. Two days after Wednesday's crash, in which 48 of the 58 people on board were killed, 35 bodies had been identified as of Friday at noon, and seven of them were transported by military aircraft to Kaohsiung, from where the ill-fated flight took off, Friday afternoon. Prosecutors and forensic anthropologists were in Penghu to help medical examiners identify the victims. Four of the seven sent back to Kaohsiung were Kaohsiung natives and the three others were from Tainan. Of the 10 survivors, one was treated and returned home, and one, Chen Pei-hua, was still in Penghu after undergoing a third brain operation Friday morning to relieve cranial pressure, and was still in a coma as Friday afternoon. Six survivors were flown to Kaohsiung for further medical attention. Two were sent to Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, two to the Zuoying Branch of Kaohsiung Armed Forces General Hospital, one to Kaohsiung Veterans General Hospital and one to the affiliated hospital of Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital. The most seriously injured survivor in Kaohsiung was Chang Chih-jen, who was being kept alive through extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). Doctors had to perform multiple operations on Chang, who suffered from multiple broken ribs, a punctured lung, abdominal bleeding that impaired his ability to breathe, a laceration to the liver and a severe injury to the large intestine.
The hospital said his condition was improving after an operation to stop his internal bleeding was successful. The five other survivors in Kaohsiung were in stable condition. Two survivors were sent to Taipei, with one being treated at Mackay Memorial Hospital and the other at Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital. On Friday afternoon, President Ma Ying-jeou visited a 10-year-old female survivor named Lee Wei-tung, who was being treated by Mackay Memorial Hospital's burns unit after suffering from smoke inhalation. Ma said that although Lee was intubated, she was recovering well and likely to make a full recovery in the near future. The president praised Navy officers Tsai Pei-ju and Yen Wan-ju, who are stationed at the Navy's base in Penghu, for rescuing Lee by pulling her from the smoking wreckage. Ma also thanked other military servicemen and rescuers for helping the 10 injured passengers in a timely way. The government is now looking into the cause of the crash and has set up a central emergency response task force to handle the aftermath of the crash, the president said, adding that he has also directed relevant authorities to strengthen aviation safety measures. Ma also visited injured passenger Wu Chang-lou at Chang Gung Memorial Hospital in Linkou in New Taipei. Wu, who sustained multiple rib fractures and had third-degree burns covering 30 percent of his body, was in stable condition after a night of observation, according to the hospital. Also Friday afternoon, Premier Jiang Yi-huah headed to Kaohsiung to visit 34-year-old Hung Yu-ting, a worker at the Penghu employment center under the Ministry of Labor, who was still in intensive care. She was the first survivor to extricate herself from the wreckage despite being pinned beneath seats. Suffering from burns to her back and legs, Hung managed to run to a nearby house to call her father for help, according to media reports. "She told me 'the plane crashed' and sounded weak over the phone," his father was quoted as saying. Hung, a Penghu resident, had taken another TransAsia flight to Kaohsiung on Tuesday for a conference that had been canceled due to Typhoon Matmo. (By Lung Pei-ning, Chiu Chun-chin, Wang Shwu-fen, Chang Che-fon and Evelyn Kao)


Updated : 2021-05-09 11:00 GMT+08:00