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Third girl injured in Asiana jet crash dies

Officials confirm other victim was hit by fire truck

Two men took pictures of the wreckage of the Asiana Airlines jet on Friday.

Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

Two men took pictures of the wreckage of the Asiana Airlines jet on Friday.

SAN FRANCISCO — A girl who was aboard the Asiana Airlines flight that crash-landed died Friday, the same day that authorities confirmed that one of the two Chinese teenagers killed in the disaster was hit by a firetruck.

The disclosure about the teen raised the possibility that she could have survived the crash only to die in its chaotic aftermath.

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No one knows yet whether the two teens lived through the initial impact at the San Francisco airport.

But police and fire officials confirmed Friday that Ye Meng Yuan, 16, was hit by a firetruck racing to extinguish the blazing Boeing 777.

Her close friend Wang Linjia, also 16, was among a group of passengers who did not get immediate medical help. Rescuers did not spot her until 14 minutes after the crash.

Meng Yuan’s body was found covered in firefighting foam.

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The third girl died Friday morning. San Francisco General Hospital said she had been in critical condition since arriving Saturday after the accident.

Officials did not identify the girl at the request of her parents. Her age was also withheld.

‘‘The firetruck did go over the victim [Meng Yuan] at least one time. Now the other question is, what was the cause of death?’’ police spokesman Albie Esparza said. ‘‘That’s what we are trying to determine right now.’’

San Mateo County Coroner Robert Foucrault said the results of his initial inquiry into the deaths would probably be released next week. He would not comment on the police investigation.

Moments after the July 6 crash, while rescuers tried to help passengers near the burning fuselage, Wang Linjia and other victims lay in the rubble almost 2,000 feet away. A group of survivors called 911 and tried to help them.

Members of the group — martial arts athletes and their families returning from a competition in South Korea — said that after escaping the plane, they sat with at least four victims who appeared to be seriously hurt. They believe one of them was one of the girls who died.

Cindy Stone, who was in that group, was recorded by California Highway Patrol dispatchers calling in for help: ‘‘There are no ambulances here. We’ve been on the ground 20 minutes. There are people lying on the tarmac with critical injuries, head injuries. We’re almost losing a woman here. We’re trying to keep her alive.’’

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

The flight attendants remained hospitalized Friday.

Talmadge also confirmed that an Associated Press photograph of a body under a yellow tarp near the burned-out jet was the other victim, Meng Yuan.

The photo, taken from above, shows firefighters looking down at the tarp, and there are truck track marks leading up to it.

Police said the teenager was covered in foam that rescuers had sprayed on the burning wreckage.

When the truck moved while battling the flames, rescuers discovered her body, Esparza said.

The airliner struck a rocky sea wall just short of the runway. Dozens of other passengers were injured, and although 182 were taken to hospitals, most suffered only minor injuries.

Nearly a week after the crash, the investigation indicates that the pilots, a trainee and his instructor, had failed to realize until it was too late that the jet aircraft was dangerously low and was flying too slow.

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