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Asiana Victim Alive When Hit By Fire Truck, Coroner Finds

Asiana Victim Ruled Killed by Fire Truck After Surviving Crash
A burned Boeing Co. 777, operated by Asiana Airlines Inc., sits on the runway after it crash landed at San Francisco International Airport on July 6, 2013. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

One of the three victims of the Asiana Airlines Flight 214 crash survived the impact before being struck and killed by a fire vehicle, a coroner ruled.

San Francisco Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White, at a news conference today, called the death of Ye Meng Yuan, 16, a “tragic accident” that has shaken members of her department. The girl and a classmate in China died in the aftermath of the July 6 crash. Another classmate died at a hospital July 12.

Internal hemorrhaging showed the death was caused by being hit by a rescue vehicle, Robert Foucrault, San Mateo County coroner, said today at a press conference. The girl’s body was found near the fuselage, he said.

More than 300 passengers survived the crash. Two remain hospitalized in critical condition. The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board is reviewing the emergency response as part of its accident investigation.

“We will take a look at our protocols and procedures” for emergency personnel, Hayes-White said. “I remain proud of their efforts under such extraordinary circumstances.”

The victim’s body was found near a blanket of foam used for extinguishing fires and was likely hit by an airport-based vehicle, Hayes-White said. She said she couldn’t answer whether the body had been under the foam.

The Asiana Boeing Co. 777 crashed as it struck a seawall short of a runway, slammed to the ground and spun off the tarmac. The crash was the first fatal airline accident in the U.S. since 2009. It was Seoul-based Asiana’s first crash since a Boeing 747 cargo plane went down at sea in July 2011.

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