Among the passengers presumed dead in the Penghu County plane crash were two French medical students in an exchange program at National Taiwan University, the university’s Office of Superintendent head Lin Te-ta (林德達) said yesterday.
Jeromine Deramond and Penelope Luternauer, who were both 23 and from Lille Catholic University, in Lille, France, had concluded the six-week exchange program last Friday, Lin told a press conference.
National Taiwan University College of Medicine director Wu Ming-hsien (吳明賢) said the two women were in Taiwan to receive clinical training at the division of cardiothoracic surgery and the division of plastic surgery at National Taiwan University.
“They performed really well in the training courses. They completed the program about a week ago and had packed up,” Wu said.
The university said that they were not aware of the pair’s plan to tour Penghu County and assumed that they were on a trip in Taiwan before they return to France.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Anna Kao (高安) said yesterday that the ministry had stayed in close contact with the French Institute in Taiwan and the nation’s representative office in France since the plane crashed on Wednesday night, providing the French victims’ families with any needed assistance.
The French Institute in Taiwan and France’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development both expressed condolences to the families of the Taiwanese and French victims.
“We are saddened to learn that the plane that crashed while attempting an emergency landing in Taiwan has left many passengers dead. Among them, two were our nationals,” the French ministry’s statement said.
“Overwhelmed with grief, we mourned the passing of the victims and expressed deep condolences for their families. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development will keep close contact with [Taiwanese] authorities and families [of the two French victims],” the French ministry said.
The French Institute in Taiwan expressed gratitude to Taiwanese authorities for working overnight to help it acquire information about the students.
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