San Francisco police confirmed Friday that a fire truck responding to the Asiana Airlines Flight 214 crash hit one of the 16-year-old victims, but emphasized that coroner's officials had yet to determine her cause of death.
Gordon Shyy, public information officer for the San Francisco Police Department, said the girl was outside the jet and covered in fire retardant foam when the fire truck "went over her."
The department's major accident investigations team, which handles all fatal collisions, was called to the scene Saturday and is continuing its inquiry into the incident. That investigation will remain open until the San Mateo County coroner provides his report, Shyy said.
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- San Francisco International Airport (SFO), US hwy 101, San Francisco, CA 94128, USA
County Coroner Robert J. Foucrault this week identified the girl as Ye Mengyuan, one of two passengers killed in the crash that sent 182 others to area hospitals. He told The Times on Wednesday that the physical examination of Ye's body was complete but that an analysis was continuing as to the cause of death.
“When you do an examination it involves many pieces,” Foucrault said. “When all those pieces are in place, we can release the findings.”
Ye and her close friend, Wang Linjia, were part of a group of Chinese high school students who were supposed to arrive Monday at West Valley Christian Church and School in the San Fernando Valley for a three-week summer camp. Their bodies were recovered after the Boeing 777 clipped a seawall and slammed into a runway at San Francisco International Airport.
Wang's body was found about a mile away, close to where the aircraft first hit the ground. She is believed to have been ejected from the rear -- along with three flight attendants who survived with serious injuries -- when the tail sheared off.
Ye's body was found close to the aircraft’s left wing. At some point during the harrowing rescue effort, first responders realized that an emergency vehicle had probably run over her.
San Francisco Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White said fire officials immediately notified San Francisco police -- as well as the FBI and National Transportation Security Board, which is heading the investigation into the crash -- when it became apparent that Ye had been struck.
The drivers of all five trucks that raced to the scene have tested negative for drugs and alcohol. Such tests are conducted as part of a routine investigation protocol, Hayes-White said.