San Francisco: Asiana Victim Didn't Buckle Her Seatbelt

City insists rescuers didn't kill Ye Meng Yuan
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 30, 2014 8:30 AM CST
San Francisco: Asiana Victim Didn't Buckle Her Seatbelt
In this undated photo, Ye Meng Yuan poses for photos in a classroom in Jiangshan city in China's Zhejiang province.   (AP Photo/CHINATOPIX, File)

A girl thrown from a plane that crashed at San Francisco International Airport died before she was twice run over by fire trucks, according to a city-issued report that contradicts a coroner's finding that the teen survived the crash and was killed by the vehicles. Instead, the city said in a report obtained yesterday that 16-year-old Ye Meng Yuan died when she hit the ground after she was thrown from the back of an Asiana jet that had its tail ripped off. The city said in its document that neither of two National Transportation Safety Board reports noted dust, dirt, debris, or firefighting foam in Meng Yuan's trachea or lung tissues.

The city also said that NTSB investigators found she had not buckled her seatbelt for the landing, based on interviews with survivors and an inspection that found her seatbelt attached and unbuckled. City officials say the report, one of hundreds of documents the NTSB will review before concluding its accident investigation, is based on NTSB reports and interviews by federal investigators; the city did not conduct an autopsy or consult with medical experts. San Mateo County Coroner Robert Foucrault said the conclusions in the city report were not accurate. While announcing the results of his autopsy last summer, Foucrault declined to go into detail on how he determined the teenager was alive before she was struck but did say there was internal hemorrhaging that indicated her heart was still beating at the time. (More Asiana Airlines stories.)

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