Firefighters caused death of Asiana plane crash victim


LOS ANGELES: One of the victims of this month’s Asiana Airlines jet crash in San Francisco survived impact but was killed on the tarmac when she was run over by an emergency vehicle, officials said Friday.

Results of the autopsy on 16-year-old Chinese student Ye Mengyuan, one of three people killed in the July 6 disaster, had been keenly awaited after fire-fighters admitted a tarmac accident was possible.

The girl, who was “alive at the time,” died due to “multiple blunt injuries that are consistent with being run over by a motor vehicle,” San Mateo county coroner Robert Foucrault told reporters.

San Francisco fire chief Joanne Hayes-White offered her “condolences and apologies to the family . . . in light of the coroner’s findings in this tragic accident.”

“Obviously this is very difficult news for us—we’re heartbroken,” Hayes-White said.
“We’re in the business of saving lives.”

The city fire chief said the entire emergency operation was still under review.

“I continue to be very proud of all the men and women of our department. Many of our members risked their lives to save passengers and crews that day,” she said, lamenting the “tragic accident.”

A police inquiry found that Ye was hidden under a layer of white foam, used by firefighters as a flame retardant in the wake of the crash upon landing of Asiana Flight 214.

Hayes-White said the vehicle involved was likely “one of the specialized rigs at the airport,” adding: “There were many surrounding the aircraft.”

She said fire department personnel were cooperating with both a police probe and the one led by the United States National Transportation Safety Board.


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