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Coroner: Rescue vehicle may have struck crash victim

9:42 PM, Jul 7, 2013   |    comments
Photo courtesy of Twitter user @benlevy74.
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SAN FRANCISCO (USA Today) -- An autopsy is scheduled Monday to determine whether one of the two 16-year-old girls killed in the crash of Asiana Airlines Flight 214 died of injuries sustained when she was run over by arriving emergency vehicles or from the plane crash itself.

San Mateo County Coroner Robert Foucrault says he was told there was a possibility one of the victims may have sustained fatal injuries from a source "other than the airplane crash."

Foucrault said senior San Francisco Fire Department officials notified him and his staff at the crash site on Saturday that one of the girls may have been struck on the runway. The victim was found by the left wing, about 30 feet from the aircraft fuselage.

He says he arrived about 45 minutes after the crash and was pointed to the locations of the two deceased by fire officials. While one was found next to the plane, he said the other body was found nearer to the point of first impact, where the plane struck the seawall before the runway threshold. The plane's tail and landing gear separated from the rest of the fuselage.

The two teenage girls who died were identified Sunday as Ye Mengyuan and Wang Linjia from China's eastern Zhejiang province, according to China Central TV. They were among a group of young Chinese nationals who were to spend three weeks at a church summer camp program in Los Angeles.

Foucrault says first responders - including his deputies - train extensively for plane crashes. But the scene that firefighters encountered on Runway 28 Left would have been difficult to comprehend: 307 aboard the jetliner, with about 180 of them injured.

San Francisco Fire Department Chief Joanne M. Hayes-White, appearing on KGO-TV, described the scene as "chaotic" when she arrived about 20 minutes after the crash.

"We were dealing with a fire emergency and medical emergencies, and literally hundreds and hundreds of passengers and patients," she said.

Contributing: Associated Press.

Associated Press

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