Family Changed Seats Last Minute On Taiwan Plane And Survived Crash

Three survivors of yesterday's TransAsia crash are alive likely because of a seat change that took place just before takeoff.

Taiwan's Lin Ming-wei, 38, along with his wife and 2-year-old son boarded flight 235 to take a vacation on the island of Kinmen, CNN reports.

He heard a noise coming from the wing that made him nervous, however, as the plane was preparing to leave Taipei's Songshan Airport.

So the father asked the crew if his family could switch their seats from the left side to the right, toward the back of the plane.

The flight would plunge into the Keelung River following an engine malfunction just minutes later.

Lin became separated from his son, Lin Riyao, as water flooded the aircraft.

After looking for a few minutes, he found his son floating without a heartbeat.

Yahoo! News quotes Chinese media as saying,

Right after Lin escaped the plane, he pulled up his wife, who was just next to him. He saw his son in the water, with face turning pale and lips turning purple.

The boy had spent more than 100 days in the hospital because he was born prematurely, according to USA Today, and Lin wasn't about to see the life his son fought so hard for get taken away.

He told Taiwanese newspaper Liberty Times,

He is my only child. I absolutely have to save his life -- I can't lose him.

Lin performed CPR on his son just before rescuers arrived.

Lin Riyao is alive but currently in intensive care due to the water he swallowed.

His mother is in the hospital as well after sustaining numerous bone fractures.

Lin, amazingly, is one of the only 15 survivors who did not need any medical treatment.

He believes his family is alive solely because of the seat change, CNN reports, which is supported by the fact that the plane crashed onto its left side.

Yesterday's crash, which was TransAsia's second in just over six months, killed at least 31 people and injured 15, according to Yahoo! News.

Twelve people are still missing.

The driver and passenger of a taxi cab, which the plane struck as it hit a highway during its descent, are also lucky to be alive.

According to CNN, the 52-year-old driver's family didn't believe him when he told them over the phone,

I'm OK. My car got into a crash, it was hit by an aeroplane.

He and his female passenger suffered minor injuries as a result of the car's fractured windshield.

Citations: Fathers hunch saves toddler wife from TransAsia plane crash (CNN), Pilots audio released (USA Today), Taiwan plane survivors changed seats before take-off (Yahoo News)