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Crash investigators to question sole surviving crew member

Crash investigators to question sole surviving crew member

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Prosecutors were preparing to question cabin attendant Huang Ching-ya, the only member of the crew who survived the TransAsia Airways crash, reports said Thursday.
By Thursday evening, the death toll of Wednesday morning’s disaster had risen to 32, including 18 tourists from China. The search for 12 people still missing had been expanded to include the Keelung River under the surface.
The Shihlin District Prosecutors Office reportedly wanted to question Huang to compare her replies to the information obtained from the plane’s black boxes, which were recovered Wednesday afternoon. The flight attendant knew what had been happening on board the flight around the time of takeoff and also possessed wide knowledge about regular procedures, making her the ideal person to shed more light on the accident, reports said.
Pilots Liao Chien-tsung and Liu Tzu-chung both died in the crash, while some other crew members were still missing. The pilots were hailed as heroes for having steered the plane away from densely populated areas. It hit an elevated road and a taxi before plunging into the river. The taxi driver and his passenger were injured, but survived.
Huang was still undergoing treatment in hospital, so prosecutors would have to wait before starting talking to her, reports said. The 27-year-old woman was reportedly severely injured and still staying under observation at the intensive care unit.
Huang narrowly escaped the crash of another TransAsia ATR-72 last July in Penghu which killed 48 people because she switched shifts with a colleague.
The aircraft which crashed in Taipei had only started service last year and successfully completed a technical review last January 26, the airline said. The grounding of all ATR-72 planes in Taiwan was expected to cut the available number of seats on Lunar New Year holiday flights to and from Kinmen by 7,000, reports said.
President Ma Ying-jeou visited hospitals and the morgue Thursday to offer his condolences to relatives of the victims. Flights from China also brought relatives of the 31 tourists, most of them from Xiamen in Fujian Province, who had been on board. Only three of them reportedly survived the crash.
In the evening, Taipei City Mayor Ko Wen-je visited the site of the accident on the capital’s Keelung River. In talks with reporters, he estimated that the 12 people still missing might have been carried away by the river.


Updated : 2021-09-22 20:16 GMT+08:00