Crash Victims’ Relatives Turn Wrath on Airlines

ByABC News
November 2, 2000, 10:25 AM

T A I P E I, Taiwan, Nov. 2 -- Grieving relatives of victims in the Singapore Airlines jet crash in Taiwan are accusing the airline of withholding information about the disaster.

The crash killed at least 81 of the 179 people on board.

The Los Angeles-bound flight, SQ006, was taking off from Chiang Kai-shek International Airport outside of Taipei on Tuesday night in a fierce storm when it apparently hit an object on the runway and burst into flames. Everyone here knows who the dead are but we were still crying back in Singapore and up till now, we know nothing. You owe us an explanation! a Singaporean woman shouted at Cheong Choong Kong, SIA chief executive officer and deputy chairman, in Taipei today.

Nobody knows anything, we were just there at the airport[in Singapore], crying, crying, crying! she cried.

Two dozen family members from Singapore arrived in Taipei on Wednesday night to try to identify relatives, whose bodies lay in a makeshift morgue in an unused flight terminal. Many bodies were burnt beyond recognition.

Angry Relatives Want Answers

Singapore Airlines, one of Asias most profitable and cash-rich carriers, has been facing a storm of criticism from family members of the victims in their first crash in its 28-year history.

At a news conference in Singapore today, a visibly shaken Cheong said the airline was in a difficult position. There is a need for information and the need for accuracy and also the need to be considerate to the feelings of the people concerned ... we were in a difficult position, he said.

But Tan Yin Leong, whose brother Tan Yip Thong died in the crash, was not impressed. Tell the press the true story, he said. Dont hide any more, said

Are peoples lives more important or SIAs reputation? anupset Tan said as his daughter stood behind him, weeping.

Singapore Airlines spokesman Rick Clements, who said details of the probe would come from investigators in Taiwan, adjourned the news conference.