Coroner: Asiana Victim Was Alive When Struck By Fire Truck

By: CBS News, Posted by Chelsey Moran
By: CBS News, Posted by Chelsey Moran
Ye Mengyuan, left, and Wang Linjia were killed in crash of Asiana Airlines Flight 214 on July 6, 2013 at San Francisco airport

Ye Mengyuan, left, and Wang Linjia were killed in crash of Asiana Airlines Flight 214 on July 6, 2013 at San Francisco airport

A Chinese student on board Asiana Flight 214 survived the crash-landing only to be killed accidentally on the runway by a fire truck racing to the wrecked plane, a coroner confirmed Friday.

San Mateo County Coroner Robert J. Foucrault said that 16-year-old Ye Meng Yuan's death was caused by "multiple blunt injuries" consistent with being run over by a vehicle.

She and her middle school classmate, 16-year-old Wang Linjia, died in the July 6 crash at San Francisco International Airport. The other victim killed, 15-year-old Liu Yipeng, died at a hospital July 12. Dozens of others were injured.

After the coroner revealed his findings, San Francisco Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White extended her condolences and apologies to the victim's family.

"It's very difficult and devastating news for all of us," Hayes-White said. "We are heartbroken."

Hayes-White said the investigation is ongoing but officials believe the girl was struck by a specialized fire vehicle.

Police and fire officials confirmed last week that Yuan was hit by a firetruck racing to extinguish the blazing Boeing 777. The teenager was on the ground and covered in foam that rescuers had sprayed on the burning wreckage of Flight 214 when she was run over at least once, police said.

Rescuers discovered her body in the tire track when the truck moved while battling the flames, according to police.

Yuan and Linjia were students at Jiangshan Middle School in Zhejiang, an affluent coastal province in eastern China, Chinese state media has reported.

They were part of a group of students and teachers from the school who were heading to summer camp in Southern California. Yuan and Linjia were seated at the back of the plane, federal investigators have said.

Meanwhile, the probe into the crash itself continues. Investigators have said the plane came in too low and too slow, clipping its landing gear and then its tail on a rocky seawall just short of the runway.

© 2013 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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