Tue, Oct 17, 2006 - Page 2 News List

Woman slams domestic airline after eye accident

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTER

A woman yesterday accused Far Eastern Airlines of being irresponsible, following an accident in which a piece of luggage unexpectedly fell on her leaving her blind in one eye.

"Far Eastern Airlines didn't care about my situation after the accident. Their personnel asked me to go to hospital by myself and paid me only NT$3,600 in compensation," said Itsuko Homma, a Taiwanese married to a Japanese man.

Homma made the accusation at a press conference held by a Democratic Progressive Party lawmaker Tang Huo-shen (湯火聖) at the legislature.

Homma said that the accident happened on June 22 during a flight from Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport to Kaohsiung International Airport.

"Two air hostesses were moving a piece of luggage into an overhead compartment when it fell and hit my left eye. I was in a lot of pain, but they just told me to see a doctor," she said.

She said that she went to an eye hospital for an examination the next day due to "an unbearable pain in my left eye."

It was discovered that all the capillaries in her left eye had been ruptured.

"I had a further examination when I went back to Japan and a doctor confirmed that I had completely lost sight in my left eye," she said.

Tang accompanied Homma to a meeting with Philip Chen (陳尚群), Far Eastern's executive vice president on the matter after the press conference, obtaining the promise that the company would further investigate the accident and reconsider the compensation.

Hanson Chang (張有朋), Far Eastern's public relations manager, said at the press conference that there were some discrepancies between Homma's statement and that of the two air hostesses involved and that the company needed to investigate the incident further.

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