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Home News Room Letters from Master Cheng Yen Master Cheng Yen’s Letter of Condolence after Crash of Trans Asia Plane

Master Cheng Yen’s Letter of Condolence after Crash of Trans Asia Plane

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On the afternoon of July 23, a passenger plane of TransAsia Airlines GE-222 was flying from Kaohsiung Airport to Makung in Penghu Islands when it went out of control. A total of 48 people passed away, 10 were taken to hospital and more than 10 residential buildings were damaged.

When she heard the news, Master Cheng Yen was filled with deep sadness. She has written this letter of condolence. She asks everyone to pray for eternal blessings for those who have been injured or passed away and show the spirit of Great Love. Everyone should work together, support each other and pray for a world without disasters.

Here is the full text of her letter (translated)

My beloved fellow citizens:

On the evening of July 23, Taiwan time, the Typhoon Matmo was weakening in strength. We heard with alarm that a TransAsia Airways passenger plane, GE-222, had lost its way en route from Kaohsiung to Makung in Penghu. On board were 58 crew and passengers; the tragic outcome was that 10 people were injured and 48 lost their lives. In addition, more than 10 residential buildings were damaged. When I heard this news, I felt that my heart had been struck by lightning. My heart was filled of deep sorrow. I thought of the more than 30 families who have fallen into the valley of sorrow and lost their loved ones. How can their hearts not be broken?

Immediately after the accident, Tzu Chi headquarters set up a Penghu disaster command centre and remained in constant contact via Internet. We deeply felt that everyone in this world is our family member. I cannot find the words to express the sorrow in my heart. Life is impermanent. How can we endure it when our loved ones depart from us?

I thank the Tzu Chi volunteers of Penghu, Taipei and Kaohsiung who immediately put into action a network of Great Love. They remained close to the wounded and the families of those who had passed away and showed their love and concern. At 9.20 p.m., the volunteers in Penghu went to the crash site, Makung airport, the hospitals and the funeral home. They interacted with everyone as if they were members of their own family and comforted those whose hearts were struck by this tragedy. Up to 11 p.m., the Tzu Chi provided hot meals, tea and comfort to the rescue workers and the families. When I seen the ceaseless love of Tzu Chi members, my heart is full of gratitude.

In the early morning of July 24, a team of members from Kaohsiung flew to Penghu and went to comfort every family struck by the disaster.

I cannot find the words to express my thanks to the Tzu Chi members and their spirit of ‘going to the front line and accompanying people until the very end’. They are standing with the families and calming the hearts of every one of them. Today Tzu Chi people have a heart of devotion and show their deep concern. They join with those of us who live at the Jing Si Abode and Tzu Chi people all over the world in praying for the swift recovery of the wounded and for the spirits of those who have departed. May their families take care of themselves during this time of grief. We are all praying for the eternal blessing for those who have gone and those who are wounded. Let us show Great Love and work together, support each other and pray for a world without disasters.

Shih Cheng Yen,
founder of the Taiwan Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation
July 24, 2014

復航澎湖空難證嚴上人慰問信全文 (In Chinese)


" It is never too late for a deep-rooted affinity to blossom. Do not worry over a distant journey as long as one finds the way. "
Jing-Si Aphorism

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