Ten Taiwanese tourists who were seriously injured in a bus accident were to be flown back by a TransAsia charter from Xiamen, China, the Civil Aeronautics Administration said yesterday.
The flight was due to arrive at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport at about 4am this morning, the agency said.
The chartered planed would also carry 14 of the tourists family members, the agency added.
The injured tourists are to be transferred to Taipei’s National Taiwan University Hospital, New Taipei City’s Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Taoyuan’s Saint Paul’s Hospital and Greater Taichung’s China Medical University Hospital for further treatment.
A bus carrying 26 people — including a Chinese driver and tour guide — plunged into the Jiulong River in Zhangzhou, Fujian Province, at about 1pm on Friday in rainy conditions.
Four of the tourists were killed and three remain unaccounted for.
Nineteen people survived the crash, including the bus driver.
Six of the tourists who sustained only minor injuries returned to Taiwan over the weekend.
One returned tourist, Chiu Ying-chen (邱營振), said at the airport yesterday that the river had swept them far downstream and they waited a long time to be rescued.
Some said they still felt scared recalling their experiences when the bus plunged into the river.
When asked about a boy who reportedly saw his father drown, Chiu said that the man had pushed his son toward rescuers so that the child could be saved.
A third body found about 10km downstream from the accident site on Saturday could be that of Lai Chen-yuei (賴陳月), a 61-year-old woman. DNA tests are being conducted to identify the body.
The family of Lin Tai-ping (林太平), a 68-year-old man whose body was also found, went to a mortuary in Zhangzhou yesterday morning to conduct Buddhist rituals. They then went back to the banks of the river to summon back Lin’s soul.
According to local media reports in Zhangzhou, the city government said that as of Saturday evening, more than 2,500 personnel and 184 vessels had taken part in the search-and-rescue efforts after the accident.