Third girl aboard Asiana Flight 214 dies from injuries
SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (KGO) -- Officials at San Francisco General Hospital say a girl on the Asiana Airlines Flight 214 has died from her injuries, becoming the third casualty of the crash at San Francisco International Airport.
Liu YiPeng, 15, had been in critical condition since arriving at the hospital Saturday after the plane crash landed, killing two 16-year-olds and leaving others in critical condition.
Very little information is being released about the third victim, at her family's request. Doctors say the young victim had extensive injuries.
"Today we're very sad to announce that one of the victims of the plane crash expired this morning," said Dr. Margaret Knudson, San Francisco General Hospital's chief of surgery. "She died of her injuries. It is a pediatric patient who's been in our intensive care unit since the time of the crash. Her family has asked that we don't release any details about her, her identity, the nature of her injuries, or the treatment that she received."
We do know the YiPeng is a Chinese national. We do not know her age. Her family tells hospital staff that they may have more to say about her in the days to come.
SFO reopens runway 28L
Officials at San Francisco International Airport re-opened runway 28L, the site of the Asiana Flight 214 crash, for full operations at 5:05 p.m. Friday and said all airlines would resume normal schedules immediately.
Since the crash, 972 flights at SFO were cancelled.
The National Transportation Safety Board, which is investigating the crash, released the runway on Wednesday night and the airfield on Thursday. Since then, airport staff had been working to clear and repair runway 28L.
The fuselage of the airplane was removed from the crash site early Friday and transported to a remote section of the airport for temporary storage. The airframe will be moved to new and permanent location sometime within the next two weeks.
For a few short hours, Asiana 214 sat blatantly exposed just a few yards from a chain link fence and traffic on North Airport Road.
It was a tourist attraction no one wanted to see, from which they could not look away. Sunshine Honrade was working behind an airline counter on Saturday when the plane crashed. This was a strange kind of bookend for her.
"Just when you realized that you just saw, heard, and experienced it, it is surreal," Honrade said.
Meantime, back on runway 28L, repair work had begun even before they hauled the plane away.
In the past 24 hours, airport crews picked up debris, cleaned the grass, repaired electronics, repainted lines, and repaired deep gouges the plane left in the asphalt as it came grinding in.
"The deepest gouges were eight inches deep," airport director John Martin said. "One foot by one foot scrapes over a hundred feet long."
Repairs consumed more than 1,000 tons of asphalt. The total damage in dollars is unknown, but Asiana Airlines will pay the bill.
Officials say the Federal Aviation Administration conducted a final inspection of the runway before clearing it for reopening, including special flyover flights Friday afternoon.
"The tremendous efforts and the around-the-clock work of airport staff, government agencies, airline tenants and contractors allowed us to complete all repairs and safety certifications for Runway 28L in a timely and efficient manner," Martin said in a statement.
Crash victim struck by truck, cause of death unknown
We have new information on one of the victims of Saturday's crash. The San Francisco Police Department has confirmed that one of the girls who died was run over by a fire truck while responding to the crash.
We've been hearing that the situation following the crash was, to say the least, chaotic. On Friday the initial finding is that the young girl was run over by a yellow rig, although the investigation continues.
"You know, I was not aware that they were going to come out and make that statement today," San Mateo County coroner Robert Foucrault said.
That's what he said after hearing police in San Francisco revealed 16-year-old Ye Meng Yuan was run over by an emergency vehicle following Saturday's plane crash.
Police said the ground was completely covered in white foamy fire retardant.
"When the fire truck repositioned itself to continue battling the flames aboard the fuselage, the victim passenger was discovered in the tire tracks of the fire truck so it is confirmed that the fire truck did go over the victim at least one time," SFPD spokesperson Albie Esparaza said.
According to the Chinese Consulate, Foucrault told the parents of the 16-year-old their daughter was struck by that vehicle.
What we don't know yet is what she died from -- the actual plane crash or being run over by that truck.
"We have been working very closely with the families since the day they arrived in the country," Foucrault said. "We've met with them in six different occasions so they know at some point that I will be meeting with them to go over the cause of death with them."
One way to find out if the 16-year-old was already dead -- there would be no bleeding from the injuries sustained by the fire truck.
"We determine whether those injuries are anti-mortem, which means prior to death, or post-mortem," Foucrault said.
That's one way of determining the cause of death. The process also involves interviewing witnesses and looking over police reports.
The coroner may have his report ready by next week.
Thick smoke at crash site overnight
Overnight, thick smoke could be seen from site of the Asiana Airlines plane wreckage at San Francisco International Airport. The thick white smoke could be seen as crews worked to move debris from the plane. ABC7 News is now being told there was no fire, just heavy smoke caused by metal friction as crews cut the plane into smaller pieces.
"When we do this it's cutting through metal, it's creates a lot of friction, a lot heat. We had reports of smoke but no fire. We did have a fire crew standing by during the entire process and they were quickly able to put out that smoke," said Airport spokesman Doug Yakel.
Moments before the heavy smoke, the back part of the aircraft was lifted with a sling and debris came spilling out.
"We really didn't know what to expect. We didn't know if we were going to be able to move it. We didn't know how the wreckage would react to being lifted, if it would buckle. So there were a lot of things we didn't know, there were a lot of things that could have gone wrong," said Yakel.
The plane was removed from the runway and has been placed near the United Airlines hangar. Airport officials said it will remain in that spot for a week or two while the airline decides what to do with it.
"The NTSB has gathered all of the pieces that they need for their investigation, so these remaining elements are essentially the property of the airline," said Yakel.
(The Associated Press and Bay City News contributed to this report.)
san francisco international airport, plane crash, Asiana Airlines crash, NTSB, san francisco general hospital, peninsula news
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