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May 30, 2017

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MOFA to assist French Penghu victims' families

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) has been doing its best to offer all necessary assistance to family members of the French nationals who died in a TransAsia Airways crash in the outlying island county of Penghu last week, a MOFA official said yesterday.

TransAsia Flight GE222, which took off from Kaohsiung on the evening of July 23, crashed in Penghu, killing 48 of the 58 people on board.

Among the victims were two French nationals, Jeromine Deramond and Penelope Luternauer.

They were both 23-year-old students visiting Taiwan for an internship program at National Taiwan University's College of Medicine.

Speaking during a news briefing in Taipei yesterday, Louis Huang (黃敏境), deputy director-general of MOFA's Department of European Affairs, said the ministry has kept close contact with the France's representative office in Taipei since it learned of the crash.

Taiwan's representative office in Paris also established contact with French authorities following the tragedy.

The nation's top envoy to France, Michel Lu (呂慶龍) visited family members of the two victims in France to express condolences over their loss on behalf of the R.O.C. government.

Meanwhile, parents of one of the French women who died in the crash have already arrived in Taiwan to handle the aftermath of their daughter's death.

Family members of the other victim, however, have not flown to Taiwan so far.

Instead, they have asked the French Institute in Taipei, the de facto French embassy in Taiwan, to handle affairs relating to their daughter's death, Huang said.

Memorial Service Held

According to Huang, a memorial service for the two students was held at the NTU College of Medicine on Wednesday.

MOFA's Department of European Affairs Director-General Zhang Ming-zong (張銘忠) participated in the service on behalf of the Taiwan government.

According to NTU, the two French nationals were students of Universite Catholique de Lille. They reported to NTU on June 9 for a six-week internship program and officially concluded the program on July 18.

They were apparently on their way to Penghu for sightseeing after finishing their program at NTU.

The bodies of Deramond and Luternauer were transported from Penghu to Taipei by plane last Saturday. Their remains are expected to be sent back to France in an EVA Air plane, according to local media reports.

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