Two survivors of the Oct. 6 Star Marianas plane crash on Tinian are still in the CNMI but one of them is set to return to China today while the last one is expected to follow soon, the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. and an official of the Chinese Association of the CNMI said yesterday.
This, even as the results of the federal investigation into the accident are not expected to be known anytime soon.
The crash killed three, including the pilot, and injured four others.
The first of four survivors to return to China was a 3-year-old girl on Thursday.
A male adult survivor followed yesterday morning, CHC interim chief executive officer Esther Muña and Chinese Association of the CNMI director and former president Rose Chen separately told Saipan Tribune yesterday.
Chen and Muña said the mother of the youngest survivor is leaving today. This survivor was earlier set to leave last Friday, then yesterday, and then today.
Muña said the fourth one “is in stable condition but her family is communicating with insurance for arrangement of her return.”
More significant than the statistics are the stories of individual families separated by the plane crash and the stories of hope and courage that brought together the same families and communities.
Chen said she is saddened by the losses but at the same time it warms her heart to know that people, even those who do not know each other, help each other in times like these.
“They are thanking people who helped,” said Chen, who made it a point to visit the survivors at the Commonwealth Health Center every day.
Of the three who died in the plane crash, two were Chinese tourists—a 26-year-old female and a 29-year-old male. The third was the pilot, originally from Mexico.
The four survivors are all Chinese tourists.
The youngest survivor’s mother is one of the three adult survivors. They will be reunited in China, but the man who is a father and a husband to them was one of the three killed in the crash.
The crash also separated a couple on their honeymoon vacation in the CNMI.
Chen said the bodies of the two Chinese tourists that were killed in the crash were still at the CHC morgue as of yesterday.
Muña, for her part, said, “The families of survivors wanted the bodies to go with the survivors as they are related.”
Muña said that CHC is “reminded time and time again that every patient that walks in to CHC should be treated with the same quality and compassion as the one before and the one after.”
“Our hardworking physicians, nurses, ancillary, and administrative staff were there with the mentality that they had to save lives. Even after we did that, our staff continued the assistance to the patients and their families to ensure that patients’ health and wellness continue beyond CHC. I believe that we were successful with that. This is what we do,” Muña said.
While this gets the public’s attention now “because of this unfortunate incident, this is what our medical and administrative team do every day, no matter who is in front of them.”
The Chinese government also sent its consular officers from California to the CNMI upon learning of the crash.
Yu Xiong, consul from the Chinese Consulate General in Los Angeles, and vice consul Hongming Wang arrived in the CNMI on Tuesday.
Yu expressed appreciation to local and federal emergency response personnel, medical personnel, other agencies, private citizens, and groups that helped in any way in the rescue and recovery of the victims.
This is the second Star Marianas plane crash in 11 months. The first one was on Nov. 19, 2012, that claimed the life of a female Chinese national.