TAIPEI, Taiwan –
Leo Yang was among the first survivors to appear alive from the wreckage following the TransAsia crash in Taiwan 2 days ago. The 34-year-old businessman appeared, miraculously unscathed, following the incident, which made his death less than an hour later all the more tragic.
Yang had been pulled from the wreckage with little more than a scratch on him, baffling the rescuers who helped save him. He was reported as appearing respectively calm and collected during the extraction.
“When he came out, he thanked us politely and sat in our rescue raft until we took him back to shore,” one rescue worker said. “We assumed he was in a state of shock or something like that. He was almost too calm. After we brought him to shore, he leaned against a rail and pulled out a package of airline peanuts. That was the last time we saw him alive.”
According to an eyewitness, Yang had propped himself against a railing along a walkway. There he stood and attempted to open a package of peanuts for a good hour while he watched the rescue crew continue to work.
“That bag must have been hard to open. But he was calm the whole time,” said the onlooker. “News crews kept passing him by. They thought he was an onlooker because he was so calm.”
The witness then said that Yang suddenly reacted violently. “As soon as he was able to open the peanuts and began eating them, he clutched his throat and began to convulse. It wasn’t long before he collapsed. I called over the paramedics that were available, but it was too late.”
According to paramedics on the scene, Yang fell to an acute allergic reaction to whey protein.
“Some of these packaging companies use a whey powder to help preserve the flavor of peanuts in packaging. Yang apparently did not read the nutrition label on the package, likely due to being emotionally flustered. The adrenaline associated with shock from the crash likely had his body redlining, and so the reaction to the allergy was swift and intense.”
Yang is survived by his wife Patty and his three sons, Charlie, Franklin, and Linus.