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Relatives question Taiwan airline's decision to fly in bad weather

Some family members of the victims of TransAsia flight GE222 have questioned the airline's decision to allow the plane to fly in bad weather.

PENGHU: Some family members of the victims of TransAsia flight GE222 have questioned the airline's decision to allow the plane to fly in bad weather.

The flight had taken off after Typhoon Matmo swept through the region. Investigators say they have not ruled out bad weather as a possible cause of the crash.

Madam Chen lost her only son Chen Zhenrong, who was in his thirties, when TransAsia flight GE222 went down on Wednesday (July 23) evening on island of Penghu. Zhenrong also left behind a wife and two children.

"My son believed the government. They wouldn't have taken off in bad weather, right? My son had promised me, if the airline said they are not flying, he wouldn't have come," said Madam Chen.

But investigators say they have not ruled out bad weather as a possible cause of the crash.

The incident happened after Typhoon Matmo had just passed through the region, forcing the cancellation of some 200 flights. But Flight GE222 was not one of them, even though it had delayed taking off due to heavy rain.

Officials said the last report submitted just before the plane took off had given the weather an all-clear, but conditions took a turn for the worse about 10 minutes after. By then, officials had already lost contact with the aircraft.

Investigators say they have started downloading information from the two black boxes recovered from the accident site, but will need at least another three days to complete the reading of the data.

And while the wait continues for an indication of what caused the crash, dozens of volunteers are on site to help families cope with the tragedy. 

"We'll do ceremonies with the next-of-kin. Through these, we hope they can feel more at ease," said Shi Changjian from the Fagushan Care Centre.

TransAsia has also assigned a company representative to each family to take care of their needs but the solace they need most will unlikely come from the airline. 

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