Passenger survived plane crash only to be killed by fire truck

Passenger survived plane crash only to be killed by fire truck

San Francisco : CA : USA | Jul 20, 2013 at 12:21 PM PDT
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Plane Crash San Francisco Asiana Airlines: Video Shows Crash Passengers' Escape

The 16-year-old Asiana Airlines Flight 214 victim whose body was found outside the wrecked airplane survived the crash but was killed by an arriving fire truck, officials said Friday.

Ye Meng Yuan's fatal injuries were caused by blunt force trauma consistent with being struck by a motor vehicle, San Mateo County Coroner Robert Foucrault told the San Franciso Chronicle.

Ye, a Chinese high school student on a trip to visit Stanford University in Palo Alto and attend a religious summer camp in Southern California, has "crushing injuries that are consistent with a motor vehicle collision," Foucrault said.

Ye was one of three students who died as a result of the July 6 crash, when Flight 214 apparently did not have enough speed or altitude when it tried to land at San Francisco International Airport.

The plane's landing gear struck a seawall at the edge of the runway and tumbled to a halt after its tail separated from the aircraft.

Ye's friend, Wang Lin Jia, also was killed when she fell from the aircraft when the tail broke off.

The third teen victim, Liu Yi Peng, had to be removed from her seat after the crash and died six days later at San Francisco General Hospital.

More than 300 passengers and crew were aboard the Boeing 777 jetliner when it slammed onto the runway, injuring 180 in addition to the three fatalities.

Most of the injured were able to get off the plane without assistance, some by leaving through the gaping hole in the rear of the aircraft where the tail had been and others using the plane's evacuation chutes.

The autopsy did not say which vehicle ran over the victim, but officials generally appear to concede that it was a San Francisco Fire Department truck that was responding to the crash and fire, the newspaper said.

Foucrault's office performed the autopsy because the airport is 12 miles south of San Francisco, in San Mateo County.

Officials said Ye's body was found underneath at least a foot of thick foam used by the firefighters to put out flames consuming the airplane's fuselage.

San Francisco Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White appeared at a press conference in San Mateo with Foucrault to apologize and extend condolences to Ye's family in China.

"We would like to express sorrow for the deceased and their families and keep them in our thoughts," Hayes-White said. "Obviously this is very difficult news for us - we're heartbroke. We're in the business of saving lives."

Hayes-White said she and San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee contacted the Chinese Consulate and asked to meet with Ye's family.

Hayes-White also said it was possible that the girl was struck by more than one fire truck.

The Police Department's hit-and-run detail is investigating Ye's death, the newspaper said.

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Asiana crash SFO
Aerial photo shows Asiana Airlines Flight 214 after it crash-landed at San Francisco International Airport in California on July 6. Photo: Jed Jacobsohn/Reuters
Nathan Salant is based in San Francisco, California, United States of America, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
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