Asiana plane crash

Asiana Airlines crash death toll rises to three; state media name victim

The girl was part of a group of students from eastern China who were visiting the United States to attend summer camp, one of the trip organizers said

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 13 July, 2013, 8:30am
UPDATED : Sunday, 14 July, 2013, 5:11am

The death toll from the Asiana Airlines plane crash in San Francisco last weekend rose to three as a girl in critical condition since the accident died.

Chinese state media identified her as Liu Yipeng. China News said she went to school in the city of Jiangshan, in Zhejiang province with the other two victims killed.

No one yet knows whether the two teenagers who died at the scene lived through the initial impact. But police and fire officials confirmed that Ye Mengyuan, 16, was hit by a fire truck racing to extinguish the blazing Boeing 777.

She was covered in fire-retardant foam, lying on the ground near the fuselage, Gordon Shyy, a police spokesman, said.

Her friend Wang Linjia, 17, was passengers who did not get immediate medical help. Rescuers did not spot her until 14 minutes after the crash.

Her body was found near a sea wall at the edge of the runway, along with three flight attendants who were flung onto the tarmac while still buckled into their seats. Linjia was not in her seat.

Moments after the crash, while rescuers tried to help passengers near the burning fuselage, Linjia and the flight attendants lay almost 610 metres away. A group of survivors called emergency services and tried to help them.

San Francisco Fire Department spokeswoman Mindy Talmadge said that when airport personnel reached the group, Linjia was already dead. She did not know when the girl had died.

The flight attendants are still being treated in hospital.

Talmadge also confirmed that a photograph of a body under a yellow sheet near the burned-out jet was that of Mengyuan. The photo shows truck track marks leading up to the tarpaulin.

"The driver may not have seen the young lady in the blanket of foam," said Ken Willette of the National Firefighter Protection Agency.

He said fire trucks that responded to the crash would have started shooting foam while approaching the fuselage from 24 or 30 metres away.

The foam was sprayed from a cannon on the top of the truck across the ground to clear a safe path for evacuees.

That was supposed to create a layer of foam on the ground that is several inches high before the truck gets to the plane.

The rest of the students and teachers from Jiangshan Middle School in Zhejiang, who travelled with a 34-member group to the United States to attend a summer camp, returned to China yesterday.

Associated Press, Bloomberg, Reuters