TAIPEI, Taiwan - Chairman of SIGMU Group Lin Shiaw-shinn, the parent company of TransAsia Airways yesterday apologised for the crash of flight GE222 that caused the deaths of 48 passengers and injured 10 people near Magong Airport on Penghu Island on Wednesday night.
TransAsia Airways flight GE222 departed from Kaohsiung International Airport around 5:43 p.m. on Wednesday. A typhoon was sweeping across Taiwan on the day of the accident. Unable to land smoothly, the pilot attempted a forced landing, later crashing on a small patch of empty land 1 to 2 kilometers away from the airport's landing strip.
Lin held a press conference yesterday, saying that Wednesday was the darkest and most painful day of his life.
"The entire SIGNU group will take responsibility for the crash and do everything we can to help the victims," said Lin.
"It has been nearly 24 hours since the airplane crash took place, and each second and each minute is a painful torture to me," said Lin. "When I read all the criticism and words said by the victims' families, they are the motivation to make me and my team work harder."
"I sincerely apologise to all the victims and their families for the pain caused by the crash of flight GE222," said Lin.
Lin choked up sobbing a few times during the press conference, saying that he appreciated all the help from the government, local officials and residents. He also promised to do whatever he can to make it up to the victims' families.
The plane was an ATR-72, a twin-engine turboprop short-haul regional airliner, and had been in service for 14 years at the time of the crash. The plane was badly charred and in flames after the failed landing, with villagers who witnessed the crash reporting that sparks were seen in the air before the plane attempted to land.
Victim's Family Kneeled Down to TransAsia General Manager
TransAsia Airways General Manager Chooi Yee-choong went to the funeral home in Penghu where the victims' bodies were sent and one victim's mother kneeled down in front of him.
The victim's mother, surnamed Chen, repeatedly asked Chooi to give her son back to her while Chooi was paying tribute to the victims.
Chooi only said that the airline has been making internal adjustments, and he hopes the public can give the company another chance.