One Asiana Flight 214 victim was killed by a firetruck rather than the initial plane crash, according to a coroner’s report on Friday. The teenage passenger died from blunt force injuries consistent with being run over by a car.
San Mateo County Coroner Robert Foucrault and San Francisco Fire Chief Joanne Hayse-White made the announcement. Hayes-White added:
“Obviously this is very difficult news for us. We’re heart-broken. We’re in the business of saving lives.”
Unfortunately, it appears that the 16-year-old girl, who was sitting near the rear of the Asiana flight, was run over by an emergency vehicle responding to the plane’s crash landing at San Francisco International Airport on July 6.
While it is not clear how Ye Meng Yuan got from the crashed plane to where she was killed, investigators believe she was already laying on the ground when a firetruck spraying fire-suppressing foam ran over her two weeks ago. The circumstances of her death are still under investigation.
Yuan and her classmate, 16-year-old Wang Linjia, died directly after the accident. The other fatality, 15-year-old Liu Yipeng, passed away in a hospital on July 12.
Fire officials added that Ye’s body was covered under a one-foot-thick layer of the firefighting foam when she was discovered. It isn’t clear if Ye was covered in the foam when she was struck, or if that happened after. Hayes-White added, “There was a lot of debris scattered around. It was a difficult, challenging scene.”
The coroner did not go into detail about Ye’s autopsy or his conclusion that the Asiana victim was killed by the firetruck. However, he stated that she had internal hemorrhaging, indicating her heart was still pumping when she was hit. It is not clear what other injuries she may have already suffered by the plane’s initial crash.
While questions surrounding the teen’s death have been answered, investigators are still looking into the cause of the crash, which also injured almost 200 passengers, several critically. Investigators have found that the Boeing 777 approached the runway too low and clipped its landing gear and tail on a seawall just short of the runway. From there, the plane spun counter clockwise and came to rest off the runway.
A complete investigation into the cause of the Asiana Flight 214 crash, as well as the victim’s death, will likely not be completed for months.
[Image via Twitter/NTSB]