US air crash rescuers failed to assist run-over teen

2014-01-16 17:56
Images from the helmet-mounted video camera of a San Francisco fire battalion chief at the scene of the crash of Asiana Flight 214 shows a firefighter covering the body of passenger Ye Meng Yuan (San Francisco Chronicle, AP)

Images from the helmet-mounted video camera of a San Francisco fire battalion chief at the scene of the crash of Asiana Flight 214 shows a firefighter covering the body of passenger Ye Meng Yuan (San Francisco Chronicle, AP)

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Los Angeles - Video footage from the helmet of a rescuer on a plane crash in San Francisco last year appears to show emergency teams failing to assist a teenaged survivor, moments before she was accidentally run over by a fire truck.

Three passengers died when Asiana Airlines Flight 214 clipped a seawall with its landing gear, skidded off the runway and burst into flames at the end of an otherwise routine flight from Seoul to San Francisco on 6 July.

One of the victims, Ye Mengyuan, 16, had been pulled alive from the plane and placed near one wing.

But the Chinese teenager was later run over and killed by a fire truck, which did not spot her lying under a layer of fire retardant foam. US prosecutors decided in October not to bring charges against the firefighter driving the truck.

CBS on Thursday broadcast segments of the video, allegedly obtained by a person close to the family of the victim.

The footage shows that firefighters knew there was a person lying on the landing strip after the accident.

The video shows a truck with rescuers approaching. The man with a camera installed on his helmet sticks out his hand and asks the truck to stop.

"There's a body right there, right in front of you," he says.

Then, a group of rescuers are seen running past the girl's body without stopping to check her vital signs.


Another 182 passengers and crew aboard the Boeing 777 were injured, in the first fatal commercial airline crash in the United States since 2009.

The San Francisco fire department declined to comment on the video.

The department has already apologised to the girl's family.

Countering reports that the police had released the video, police official Gordon Shyy said "We would not release anything that relates to an investigation that is ongoing."

A lawyer for the Ye family, Justin Green, told CNN "the video is the best evidence of what happened. It shows at least five firefighters who saw her, who understood she was there and none of them did the basic steps to check if she was alive”

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