FILE - In this July 6, 2013, file photo, firefighters, lower center, stand by a tarpaulin sheet covering the body of a Chinese teen struck by a fire truck during the emergency response to the crash of Asiana Flight 214 at the San Francisco International Airport in San Francisco. Airline pilots spend nearly all their time monitoring automated cockpit systems rather than “hand-flying” planes, but their brains aren’t wired to continually pay close attention to instruments that rarely fail or show discrepancies, industry and government experts say. As a result, pilots may see but not register signs of trouble, a problem that is showing up repeatedly in accidents and may have been a factor in the Asiana crash. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)
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SAN MATEO, Calif. — A teenager survived the Asiana Airlines crash in San Francisco only to be struck and killed by a fire vehicle rushing to fight a blaze that broke out on the plane, authorities said today.
San Mateo County Coroner Robert Foucrault said 16-year-old Ye Meng Yuan, a Chinese student, died of multiple blunt injuries consistent with being run over by a motor vehicle.
He did not say what that vehicle was, but San Francisco Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White said officials believe the girl was struck by a specialized fire vehicle.
“It’s very difficult and devastating news for all of us,” Hayes-White said.
Investigators believe the teenager was on the ground and not standing up when she was struck, Hayes-White said.
Foucrault declined to go into details on how investigators determined she was alive before she was struck, but said they could tell from internal hemorrhaging.
Authorities confirmed last week that Yuan was hit by a vehicle racing to extinguish flames that broke out on the Boeing 777.
Police said she was on the ground and covered in fire-retardant foam that rescuers had sprayed on the wreckage.
Ye Meng Yuan and her middle school classmate, 16-year-old Wang Linjia, died on July 6 at San Francisco International Airport. The other victim, 15-year-old Liu Yipeng, died at a hospital July 12. Dozens of others were injured.
Yuan and Linjia were students at Jiangshan Middle School in Zhejiang, an affluent coastal province in eastern China, Chinese state media has reported.
They were part of a group of students and teachers from the school who were heading to summer camp in Southern California. Yuan and Linjia were seated at the back of the plane, federal investigators have said.
Meanwhile, the probe into the crash itself continues. Investigators have said the plane came in too low and too slow, clipping its landing gear and then its tail on a rocky seawall just short of the runway.