Two French passengers who were among the 48 people killed in a TranAsia Airways plane crash on Wednesday were on an exchange program in Taiwan, France’s representative office in Taiwan said yesterday.
The pair, previously identified by TranAsia Airways as Jéromine Deramond and Pénélope Luternauer, were medical students interning in Taiwan, according to The Independent. The two were on a one-month exchange program at National Taiwan University and both were 23 years old, Want China Times reported, citing the representative office.
National Taiwan University in Taipei said the two women were on their way to Penghu for sightseeing after finishing their study at the university a week ago. Wu Ming-Shiang, chairman of the NTU School of Medicine, said the students had served as clinical interns at NTU Hospital for about a month.
Their luggage was packed as they wound up their stay in Taiwan but the university did not know they were going to Penghu before returning to France, said Wu.
The two were among 48 people killed when the ATR-72 jet, traveling from Kaohsiung, crashed near Magong airport in the Taiwanese island Pengu around 7:00 p.m. while attempting to land.
A total of 58 people were on board the plane, fatalities among them including 82-year-old Taiwanese sculptor Yeh Keng-chuang and Lt. Col. Tsai Ming-hua, who’d switched flights to take an earlier plane and oversee cleanup work after the typhoon, according to close sources cited in the Wall Street Journal.
It’s believed that stormy weather as a result of Typhoon Matmo was the cause of the crash.