An autopsy was being conducted Sunday to determine whether one of the two teenage passengers killed on the Asiana Airlines flight had been run over by a San Francisco fire rig at the crash scene.
The 16-year-old girl was found near the evacuation slide near the left wing of Asiana Flight 214 that crashed Saturday during a landing at San Francisco International Airport.
San Francisco Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White said Sunday her injuries are consistent with having been run over.
“As it possibly could have happened, based on the injuries sustained, it could have been one of our vehicles that added to the injuries, or another vehicle,” Hayes-White said. “That could have been something that happened in the chaos. It will be part of our investigation.”
Hayes-White said a runway video recording of the first seconds of the crash could help unravel what occurred. “Part of it was a pretty good vantage point,” she said.
While federal investigators began piecing together what led to the crash, San Mateo County Coroner Robert Foucrault disclosed that he was looking into the possibility that one of the two teenage passengers who died Saturday actually survived the crash but was run over by a rescue vehicle rushing to aid victims as the plane burst into flames. Remarkably, 305 of 307 passengers survived the crash and more than a third didn’t even require hospitalization. Only a small number were critically injured.
Foucrault, the coroner, said senior San Francisco Fire Department officials notified him and his staff at the crash site on Saturday that one of the 16-year-olds who was killed may have been struck on the runaway. Foucrault said an autopsy he expects to be completed by Monday will involve determining whether the girl’s death was caused by injuries suffered in the crash or “a secondary incident.”
Foucrault said one of the bodies was found on the tarmac near where the plane’s tail broke off when it slammed into the runway. The other was found on the left side of the plane about 30 feet away from where the jetliner came to rest after it skidded down the runway.
Authorities said Sunday that the girl, found near the west wing of the aircraft, suffered injuries consistent with being run over by a vehicle. She also did not suffer extensive burns.
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee described the situation for first responders to the crash site as “very chaotic” with “lots of smoke” as he spoke with reporters at San Francisco General Hospital, where many of the surviving crash victims are being treated.
Lee said given that scene, it might be possible a vehicle could have run over the girl – but he said that determination would have to be made by the coroner and crash investigators.
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