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Singapore Airlines Crash: Tragic Stories Abound at Taipei Hospital's Intensive Care Unit

Aired November 2, 2000 - 2:18 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: In Taiwan, investigators have been climbing through the wreckage of Singapore Airlines Flight 006, gathering evidence from Tuesday's crash. At least 80 people died when the L.A.-bound plane crashed on the runway in the midst of typhoon winds and rain.

CNN's Lisa Barron now from Taiwan.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

LISA BARRON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The intensive care unit in Taipei's Chunkung (ph) Hospital, where those burned and injured in the crash of Singapore Air 006 linger between life and death.

On another floor, 23-year-old Lilan Lin (ph), her 16-year-old sister and her mother wait for news. Lilan's father, 50-year-old businessman Lin Miang Lin (ph), was the first passenger to be rescued after the accident, but the family has been told to expect the worst.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's still very dangerous. He might pass away any second.

BARRON: A half hour before the flight departed, Lin called his wife from Chiang Kai-shek Airport.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My mom suggested him not to fly, but my dad said the Singapore Airline crew promised him that it will be all right.

BARRON: Just one of the tragic stories to emerge in the aftermath of Tuesday's disaster. At Taipei's Taluan (ph) Morgue, there are more.

On Thursday afternoon, the bodies of the victims who have been identified were released to relatives. Earlier in the day, Singapore Airline CEO Cheong Choon Kong again expressed his condolences.

Meanwhile, Taiwan authorities have begun analyzing the plane's black boxes. An eight-member team of U.S. aviation experts will help probe the disaster, while six Singaporian investigators arrived Wednesday. Both Singapore Airlines and Taiwan aviation officials are defending veteran pilot Captain Ceka Fung's (ph) decision to fly in heavy wind and rain. Some experts, though, suggest the weather was a possible cause. Fung, who survived, claims the plane struck an object on takeoff, while the Taiwan media is speculating the aircraft took off from the wrong runway.

(on camera): Whatever the cause of the crash, there is little consolation for the families of those who died. Their numbers may grow, depending on the fate of the 39 passengers still in the hospital.

Lisa Barron, CNN, Taipei.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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