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Vancouver plane crash survivor recalls rescue

A woman who survived a fiery plane crash near the Vancouver airport in October 2011 says the "amazing hands" that pulled her from the wreckage helped bring focus to her life as she works on technology that fights infections in hospitals.

Carolyn Cross says fiery crash helped her find focus in life

A survivor of a small plane crash in Vancouver last year speaks to the CBC's Natalie Clancy about the event that became the turning point in her life 2:48

A woman who survived a fiery plane crash near the Vancouver International Airport last year says the "amazing hands" that pulled her from the wreckage helped bring focus and clarity to her life as she works on her patented technology that fights deadly infections in hospitals.

Carolyn Cross was among the seven passengers aboard a two-engine aircraft on a scheduled flight from Vancouver to Kelowna, B.C., in October 2011. The pilots tried to get the plane back to Vancouver airport shortly after takeoff when it developed a mechanical problem, but it crashed on a public road short of the runway.

The aircraft was quickly engulfed in flames, but passersby still ran to the wreck and pulled the passengers out. Both pilots died.

Cross was rescued by Transport Canada pilot Simon Pearce, and says his helping hands helped her to realize she needed help, too, as she champions a patented light-therapy device that kills superbugs. She reached out to the hospital where she was treated for the injuries she suffered in the crash. 

"It was just like the hands that reached into the plane to get me out. It's the hands that need to support an important technology, which has become my life's work."

To see Natalie Clancy's full report, click on the video above.