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San Francisco plane crash: 2 victims were en route to West Hills, coroner probes if rescuers ran over girl

July 7, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
The coroner is probing whether one of the two female Chinese students killed the San Francisco Asiana Airlines plane crash was run over and killed by a rescue vehicle. The two were part of a 35-student group headed to Southern California for a summer study-abroad program, the West Valley Christian School confirmed.

San Mateo County Coroner Robert Foucrault said Sunday that senior San Francisco Fire Department officials told him Saturday that one of the 16-year-olds may have been struck on the runaway.

Foucrault says an autopsy will involve determining whether the girl's death was caused by injuries suffered in the crash or "a secondary incident." The autopsy is expected to be completed Monday.

He says he did not get a close enough look at the victims on Saturday to know whether they had external injuries.

West Valley Christian School administrator Derek Swales released a statement to ABC News Sunday morning confirming the girls were part of their study-aborad church group.

The two students have been identified as Wang Linjia and Ye Mengyuan. Both were only 16 years old. At West Valley Christian Church Sunday morning, the pastor referenced the two girls during services.

Swales said the school is giving the group space and waiting to hear from them. He said the rest of the students are with a third-party group, who is acting as their tour guide. He added that the summer program the students were going to attend is based around learning English.

The survivors spent the day Sunday at the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco to get their visas and passports reissued.

The students are from Jiangshan Middle School in China's eastern Zhejiang province, according to Chinese state media. In addition to the group heading to Southern California, Chinese officials say a total of at least 70 Chinese students and teachers were on the plane heading to various summer camps.

The group had arranged to stay with host families in the Western San Fernando Valley. There was no word on whether the students will cancel their trip to Southern California. But if they do arrive in the Southland as planned, West Valley Christian is working to put together care packages to help replace their lost luggage.

During Sunday services, the congregation prayed for the survivors and the families of the teens who died.

"When we heard about the crash yesterday it was one of those unfortunate tragedies in the news, and then coming to work this morning and finding out that they were actually going to be here, it kind of hit close to home," said church member Kyle Kincaid.

The school posted on its website that it plans to hold a prayer vigil on Thursday at 7 p.m. in memory of the two girls who lost their lives.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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