Cabinet Spokesman Sun Lih-chyun on Monday said Taiwan will hold a day of mourning on Tuesday for victims of the TransAsia Airways crash last week.
“We have notified all government agencies across the country to fly the national flag at half-mast on Tuesday to mourn for the victims,” Sun told reporters.
Report says Tuesday marked the seventh day since the Flight GE235 crashed into the Keelung River shortly after take-off from Taipei’s Songshan Airport with 58 people on board.
A taxi driver and passenger were also injured when the plane clipped a bridge before hitting the water.
Forty people were confirmed dead by Monday, with 15 survivors.
“Search teams used metal detectors to try to locate three still-missing male passengers in the river by their watches or belt buckles.
“Some families called out the names of the missing along the banks and spread ghost money into the river,’’ the agency said.
A report says the offerings of reproduction votive banknotes are intended to appease any spirits that might be distracting the souls of the deceased.
It added that they might remember where their bodies are, allowing the salvage team to locate them.
Many East Asians believe the souls of the departed return on the seventh day after death to bid a final farewell to loved ones.
Several religious ceremonies held by TransAsia Airways, with the assistance of Taipei City Government, were launched ahead of the beginning of the day of mourning at midnight.
According to Taipei City Government, the bodies of three Chinese victims, accompanied by their families, returned home to Xiamen in Fujian Province by Mandarin Airlines early Monday.
According to TransAsia Airways officials, more memorials would be held on Tuesday while discussions on compensation would resume on Wednesday.
A preliminary investigation released by Taiwan’s Aviation Safety Council on Friday indicated the ATR 72 turboprop’s two engines shut down before the crash.
However, a full analysis of the plane’s data recorders is still months away.