Couple's lucky escape from doomed Taiwan plane

Navy officer Cai Pei-ru and his girlfriend Yan Wan-ru were two of the lucky passengers who cheated death after the crash of a TransAsia Airways turboprop plane on Wednesday evening.

As they were crawling out of the wreckage of the plane, Ms Yan grabbed a girl lying near them, saving the youngest survivor of the crash, The China Times reported.

Li Wei-tong, 10, had been on holiday with her grandmother and cousin. Both died in the crash. She suffered multiple fractures and has been sent back to Taipei for treatment.

Ms Yan and Mr Cai said that the airplane circled for more than an hour before the crash.

Shortly after the pilot announced that they would be landing, he felt the plane shake violently, so they grabbed their seats and crouched down. Seconds later, there was a massive impact.

Mr Cai said the plane looked like a "crushed can". He said there could have been other survivors, but they were too weak to go back for them.

Witnesses said there was a second explosion, Apple Daily reported.

Investigators are looking into the cause of the crash, including why the plane was cleared to fly in bad weather.

Flight GE222 went down while making a second approach to Magong Airport amid heavy rains from tropical storm Matmo at about 7.20pm on Wednesday.

Of the 54 passengers and four crew members on board, 48 died. Two of the dead were French, the French foreign ministry said, and 10 people were injured and taken to hospital.

No one on the ground was hurt.

Rescuers said they have recovered the black boxes and an investigation is under way.

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