Asia

TransAsia crash: Survivors' stories

Rescue personnel put an injured passenger from a TransAsia flight that crash-landed into a river outside Taiwan's capital Taipei into an ambulance Image copyright AFP
Image caption There were 15 survivors of the crashed TransAsia Airway flight but several remain in intensive care

Fifty-eight people were on board the TransAsia Airways plane that crashed into a river in the Taiwanese capital, Taipei, on Wednesday.

At least 31 people died in the crash, with the death toll expected to rise. But there were 15 survivors pulled from the half-submerged wreckage.

The BBC takes a look at the stories of some of those survivors.


Two-year-old boy, his mother and father

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionThe moment a child was rescued from the jet which crashed into a river near Taipei was captured on video

Taiwanese couple Lin Mingwei and Jiang Yuying were travelling on the plane with their two-year-old son, Lin Riyao.

Local media said Lin Mingwei had changed seats from the left-hand side to the right before take-off because he was unsettled by a noise coming from the wing, something that might have saved their lives.

He was seated near where the fuselage broke apart so when the plane was submerged he was able to get out and help his wife to scramble out of the opening.

Image copyright AFP

They then found their son floating in the water, Taiwan's Central News Agency (CNA) reported. Lin Mingwei gave him CPR before rescuers arrived.

Some local media speculated that the pilot likely manoeuvred the plane away from the many buildings towards the river in an attempt to limit casualties and damage.

"The pilot's immediate action saved many people," Mr Lin's brother, Chris Lin, told Reuters. "We all feel very lucky."


Huang Jin-sun

The picture of 72-year-old Huang Jin-sun being helped away from the wreckage of the plane is one of the most compelling images of the crash.

It shows a frightened-looking Mr Huang clinging on to a rescuer as they wade through the water to safety.

Mr Huang told reporters that he tried to help others struggling in the river outside the wreckage.

"I saw others were drowning,'' he told the ETTV broadcaster from his bed at Tri Service General Hospital in Taipei.

"If I did not move quick enough to help them, soon they would be dead.''

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Rescue workers pull survivors, including 72-year-old Huang Jin-sun in the red lifejacket, from the wreckage

Mr Huang said he suspected something was wrong with the plane from the start.

"I felt something was not right after the plane took off," he said. "I said to the woman next to me to buckle seatbelts, hold on to the seat and cover our heads. I (had) just finished saying it and then (the) plane went down."


TransAsia flight attendant

Flight attendant Huangjing Ya was the only member of the five-strong crew who survived. She is currently in intensive care, CNA reported (in Chinese).

Ms Huang, 26, was quoted as saying "I thought I was going to die" after escaping the half-submerged plane.

She is also being treated for psychological trauma, doctors said.

Ms Huang has cheated death a second time, according to Taiwan's United Daily newspaper.

A shift change with a colleague reportedly saved her from being aboard the TransAsia Airways flight that crashed on Penghu Island in bad weather last July, killing all but 10 of the 58 people on board.


Mingzhong Chen

The wife of survivor Mingzhong Chen said: "My family is a lucky bunch; we get to see our loved ones."

She said her husband had told her how cold the water was.

Mrs Chen said she hoped the media would "respect the families" and give them the "privacy and rest they need to recover".

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionKen Kuan "I saw the plane drop down very quickly"

Taxi driver - the sixteenth survivor

Although not a passenger on the plane, a taxi driver is among the survivors of this tragedy.

Dramatic footage shot from vehicles on a bridge in Taipei showed the plane bank left as it passed very low overhead and seemingly hit very close to a taxi before clipping the bridge and falling into the river.

The driver of that taxi and one passenger were hurt but survived.

Image copyright @Missxoxo168
Image caption Dramatic images show the TransAsia passenger plane clipping a bridge as it plunges toward the river

Referred to as Mr Zhou by local media, he scrambled from the wreckage of his car with serious injuries and told doctors: "I fainted the moment it hit us."

He reportedly has a heart condition and suffered severe head injuries but said: "I am lucky to be alive."

An official for the Crown Taxi company, who called himself Mr Yang, told the Guardian that the company would ask TransAsia Airways for compensation at a later date.

Related Topics

More on this story