Taiwan TransAsia Crash Survivor Saved Passengers From Drowning

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A survivor of the TransAsia plane crash on Thursday described the frantic final moments inside the cabin, including how he saved four fellow passengers from drowning in a river.

Huang Jin-sun, 72, was one of 15 known survivors of flight GE235, which clipped an elevated highway before ditching in the shallow Keelung River, minutes after takeoff in Taipei.

He told the Taiwanese broadcaster ETTV that he was able to save four passengers who had become trapped in their seats inside the sinking fuselage.

"I saw others were drowning," Huang said of the frantic final moments inside the cabin. "If I did not move quick enough to help them, soon they would have been dead."

Dashcam footage captured the ATR 72 banking sharply before clipping a highway and a taxi shortly after taking off Wednesday morning. Of the 58 passengers and crew, at least 31 people have been confirmed dead and 12 remain missing.

"I felt something was not right after the plane took off," Huang said from hospital where he was being treated for minor injuries to his chin. "I told the woman next to me that we should buckle seat belts, hold on to the seat and cover our heads. I just finished saying it and then plane went down."


- Alexander Smith and Peter Jeary