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Official report: SFO crash victim dead before firefighters ran over her

(CNN) -- Contradicting claims by a coroner and her family, a new report by San Francisco authorities concludes 16-year-old Ye Meng Yuan was already dead when two fire trucks ran over her on the Northern California airport's tarmac. ( さらに...

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He belonged to a subgroup of pasengers on that flight that were ejected during the crash incident through the open hole in tbe back. As it turns out, none of the pasengers in that subgroup survived. Two died on the airfield (possibly on impact or soon thereafter, one died several days later in critical condition innthe hospital). No one outside this subgroup died. Not even the flight attendants at the tail, whose station separated from the rest of the plane.

If this isn't an admonishment for wearing your seatbelt, I can't imagine a better one.


Short: ALL 3 passengers who were ejected died (all sitting in the rear). No one else died.

That speaks volumes to the survivability of thier injuries.

Their death was caused by the pilot(s) lifting the nose of their aircraft. This lowered the tail section, which struck the concrete seawall. The tail strike at a steep angle caused the tail to break off, and sent crippling forces up through the pasengers sitting near the point of impact.

I would guess that a disproportionate amount of the pasengers carried out were also from the back of the plane.
* She

(just found out the phone changes feminine pronouns to masculine pronouns)

Happened again in a post above. Had to recorrect the correction, which was almost again auto uncorrected, which I had to override. Does the phone not like the ladies?
5 people were ejected, 3 of them died. 5 additional people had to be physically removed from the aircraft by firefighters.
The flight attendants were still strapped in when the the rear station they were sitting separated from the plane.

The three passengers were ejected without the benefit of a structure around them to take the traumatic forces. (Either because they weren't wearing seat belts or because they were sitting where the plane separated.)
The F/A's were seperated, not ejected. Big difference.
So the obseration stands.

All passengers that were ejected died. No one else died.
From what I've read, Photo...the FA's sitting in the tail, were ejected stapped in their jumpseats. They lived.
Yes, the FA's were strapped in. The tail section their jump seats were attached to, separated from the plane. They lived.

The 3 passengers that were ejected from the plane (through the gaping hole that the separated tail left behind) all three died.

They were all in the back. Either they were in a row that lost structural integrity and/or they weren't buckled in.

We'll learn more about how these 3 became part of this distinctive group in future NTSB reports. But their membership in the ejected pasengers group and 100% correlation to the group of pasengers that died, seems an intereting point of examination.
It will be real interesting to see the final outcome as this directly contradicts the coroner's report. Right or wrong, in any lawsuit, the coroner's report is probably going to prevail as the city of SFO is more or less going to be a defendant in this case. All the points below are very valid and lend credence to the report. As I said though, the coroner's report is probably going to prevail even though it was not looking at the ejection possibility and trauma/injuries associated with it.
This one is a shocker. Fire department finds that the fire department didn't kill the young girl.

Who woulda thunk it!?!
Who owns the airport, the City of San Francisco or the State of California? It could make a huge difference.
The answer is reflected in the suing of the City of San Francisco in the civil suit. If the State of California had an ownership interest in the airport, you can bet they would've been a named defendant in the civil case.

They're digging for pockets with money, and wouldn't leave anyone out of the pirate hunt for treasure.
So you don't know and that's not necessarily bad. It will be interesting to see if anyone calls for a coroner's inquiry to challenge the findings of the coroner's report. Since it appears to be the foundation of one of the suits, I would think lawyers for the airport authority would have an interest in when the girl alleged to have been 'killed by firetruck" actually died, not that they should be running over corpses.
As for moving a truck without the mandatory spotter, those rules are violated three time s a day and only count when they get caught up in a law suit or other litigation. Kinda like pulling back on the yoke to avoid a disaster because the second pilot wasn't in the cockpit.
Been there, done that on the yoke, both ways, in the seat and being out of the cockpit. LOL
Hey "Buba". Happy New Year, Capt.. better late than never.
Hadn't been on much the last 2-3 days. Friend of mine; contract pilot for the Forestry Commission to fly fire scout; been missing since Friday afternoon. Rough country in area where he is suspected down. Lots of previous ice storm damage. Chain saws and dozers being used on ground. Bukus of aircraft in air yesterday. National guard choppers with night vision last night. Weather has turned crappy this morning.
MIA is never good, but we pray for a good outcome. I can't do much more than my share of praying from here, but I'll do that. I hope you find him warm and dry.
Whole bunch of folks praying. One more will always help. We just got sapped with an unexpected ice storm here. we got about 1/2" of ice dumped on us out of the blue. It looked like a war zone up here. My car is in body shop waiting on adjuster and tree service just left a few ago. They didn't get it quite that bad down in the search area. They got some ground crews out yesterday afternoon and I think in the air this morning. They are narrowed to last cell phone ping but if he saw smoke and went to it to check it out, no telling where he is at. Cell towers very limited in that area so they can't triangulate. I'll try and post update when we hear anything.
Thanks. I've been on some missions like that and one square mile begins to look like the last one you searched. You didn't mention an ELT so I'm guessing there was none board. We had some nasty ice here too. Doesn't sound like it was as bad as what you had though. Up North in the PHL area they were lookig for a snow dump. I haven't heard what they got yet.EWR and TEB ar in the same belt so precip there should have been snow too.
There is an ELT on board based on what has been told but it is apparently not working. No one has picked it up and the sky has been full of planes and choppers. I am hoping we have seen the worst of the wx but I think we got flurries and going to 14 tonight. That's way too cold for down here.
Whadayamean? that's too cccold for for here. Definitely too cold for a downed pilot in the woods.
Yeah, he's been missing since last Friday and I don't think the search got cranked up good until Sat/Sun.He is a tough kid. I just pray he's OK. Wife and young Son.
Speaking as an ex volunteer firefighter (Forest City, Iowa volunteer fire department) running over someone at a fire scene (dead or alive) with a fire truck just isn't something that's acceptable, nor it should be. Therefore, that's why the fire fighters responding to this particular crash scene have a problem with what they did, or didn't do in responding to this tragic airplane crash.
Neither is hitting a car that pulls in front of a fire truck, but it happens. I don't think anyone will argue that it was perfectly all right to run over the body (alive or dead). IMHO the argument here seems similar to an event where someone is thrown under the bus and the focus is on the bus driver rather than the person doing the throwing.
I'm flying on memory from the helmet cam footage a few days ago, and I seem to remember a spotter or somebody on the ground and I'm a thinkin' that it was before the foam.
You're completely right.

They spotted her early on, when they first responder to the scene.

She didn't get run over until later when the trucks were actively fighting the fire. The plaintiff's attorney had no problem showing her presumed dead body (though he argues otherwise) when the firefighters first arrived, he conveniently omits showing the body covered in foam later on, after she was run over.

We must remember that we're intentionally only being shown half the story in order to sway our impressions. The reason for doing so is to maximize any potential payout to any plaintiff(s) and plaintiff(s') attorneys.
You need to rewatch the videos on that page, there is footage of the girl covered in foam and it is plainly obvious that it was a body.
I think you're right, Preacher.
Well, it's actually like all of us commenting on flying(crashing) that plane. None of us were there.
Another link below:

From it- "The city said in its document that neither of two NTSB reports noted dust, dirt, debris or firefighting foam in Meng Yuan's trachea or lung tissues. The city also said that NTSB investigators found she had not buckled her seatbelt for the landing, based on interviews with survivors and an inspection that found her seatbelt attached and unbuckled. "

NTSB report does not report debris in trachea is not the same as 'report found trachea free of debris"

I still wonder what the autopsy report says.
I requested a copy of the autopsy under the Calif Public Records Act and received a copy of the Pathology report:
TRACHEA AND BRONCHI: Lined by moderate amounts of bloody material. Otherwise, the trachea and bronchi are non-remarkable.

Early on, I had questions about the extent of her initial injuries. The report helped somewhat.
Thanks for making the request.

Is there anything remarkable in the report that can help us understand the coroner's thinking about the victims injuries and time of death?
PM me via discussions, I'd rather take it offline.
Something doesn't add up. This article say the coroner determined she was still alive because there was internal hemorrhaging.

I would expect that someone who died in the immediate aftermath of a major trauma like this one would often die from internal hemorrhaging. Internal hemorrhaging alone would not be determinative about the cause of death.

On the other hand, I find the lack of foam, dirt or other debris in the trachea of the victim interesting. It may very well be indicative that she was not breathing.
It is interesting, but in a court of law, which is where this is going, I figure the coroner's report will trump this one.
That's precisely where the "American" Jury will play the patriotism card to full effect.
Mittlal Er.AK- you know that is untrue. The card will be played by the attorneys, not the jury.
A small but significant difference.
People at this forum never cease to amaze me.
Either people who comment on such issues are utterly illiterate in matters relating to Law and Legal System
There is NO legal system in USA . Rule of Law does not prevail in Big Brother's country as the rest of the world believes in.
The most powerful nation runs without rule of law ! So I gather.
God Bless America .
Big Money is closer. Big brother is outclassed and out funded.
"A good lawyer knows the law. A great lawyer knows the judge"
That's what I thought as well. My problem is the way it was worded that the report did not state debris was there. More substantial would be the report stated debris was absent. I'd think that finding would be in the coroner's report.
If the lack of debris is reflected in NTSB reports, then it was definitely in the coroner's report. That's the only definitive source where they would've gotten that info. Examinations by physician recorded in hospital records could also be used to corroborate.

However, internal hemorrhage alone would not be determinative of life at time of truck injury. External forceful hemorrhage from the new injury site may indicate blood pumping.

The mere presence of blood on, in or near a dead body can be the determining factor.

I would figure the coroner's report is more precise. But the report of the coroner's report as interpreted by a journalist from plaintiff lawyer's comments seems to mess up any proper understanding of the situation.
Well now, let's all gather around the campfire and listen to the lawyers tell another big story only to be backed up by the sensationalized drama provided by the media!
Once again, dollar signs in their eyes come out as tall tales from their lips.
It is unfortunate that this girl died in this incompetent landing of the aircraft by those pilots whos' duty it is to ensure the safety of their passengers. Why someone would not wear a seatbelt is difficult to understand. Then again, she was only a young teenager and as a past parent of teens (as well as being one myself at one time), sometimes common sense just goes out the window.
I do hope that all involved may find peace for themselves. They sure wont get any from the lawyers or media.
An unbuckled seat belt could account for her death.
I can't wait to get my hands on a copy of that report. I'd love to see how they came to that conclusion while not being cynical about this. Who is it that submitted this initial report?
I think there is a link to it posted down here below.
Actually it's a link to a Las Vegas newspaper carrying an AP article, whose writer is passing along the plaintiff attorney's view of the coroner's report.

(which is no quite a link to the coroner's report)
Which report, SF County, NTSB, Coroner?
The autopsy report is a public record available from:

San Mateo County Coroner's Office.
50 Tower Road
San Mateo, CA 94402
They are just trying to deflect from the fact that two fire engines ran over her. They ought to focus on how such a thing could happen.
You would have a stronger argument if the young lady had hopped off an arriving aircraft to take a stroll around the breakwater minding her own business and got hit by a firetruck. You seem to overlook the minor detail that she was ejected from an aircraft, which began burning, due to the failure of the pilot to land the aircraft.

You really cannot parse the two, unless you are working for the plaintiff's legal team- in that case even the laws of physics need not apply.
Big picture:
It happened because they were responding to a rapidly escalating fire on an airliner on the runway of a major international airport. They had a duty to put out that fire that was a danger to themselves, to the nearby pasengers, to any first responders helping the pasengers and the facilities, they would contunue to be needed for all other flight orations for all airlines and passengers that would need to arrive or depart at SFO.

Little picture:
They were under the impression that she was dead, and acted accordingly. Resources are not diverted during a mass casualty incident to deal with casualties, when those resources are better applied to other victims, for whom the intervention will save their lives.

Triage is an important component of mass casualty response. A mass casualty incident by definition means that not everyone will get timely treatment. Triage helps get timely attention to those for whom that attention will make the greatest difference.

That every pasenger that was ejected died and that no one else died, shows that triage worked as intended. Attention was directed appropriately to get the best overall result.
They were under the impression that she was dead, and acted accordingly? Take a step back and read what you've been shuffling. Ever read any of the firefighters’ testimony? Big picture, little picture ... you've got no clue.
You're wrong.

At first, it may have been speculation. The actions ps the firefighters were consistent with them thinking she was dead.

But now, speculation isn't een necessary. The video (likely from discovery) released by the plaintiff's attorney (to contaminate the potential jury pool) clearly shows the firefighter stating 'the body' repeatedly while instructing drivers to avoid her.

He didn't say there was a young girl in need of medical attention. The distinction is very real.

Speculation (based on incident actions) and evidence (as presented recently and soon after the incident) are all entirely consistent with the firefighters treating her as dead and/or a lost cause.

There is no doubt whatsoever about it.
Can any one fill in about the final NTSB report on the crash ?
Current status of NTSB investigations can be found here:
ThanX a lot.
It seems that final report is not ready yet. Right ?
If so , any idea when it may emerge ?
It's already been discussed af nauseum. Many relevant details have already come out. Together with the informed perspectives of many of the forum contributors who have industry perspective have allowed quite good analysis of the issues.

The most relevant observations and recommendations that the final NTSB report will put forward have already been suggested here and thoroughly dissected.

Most people don't have much appetite for further discussion, except when new information is disclosed.

The NTSB report is due to be issued from 12-18 months after the incident, so figure sometime in the second half of this year.
The website includes completed and in-process investigations. You can check how long NTSB has taken in the past. Alternatively, you can get a partner and a Ouija Board....
ThanX buddy.
Seems that these are complicated procedures, whether in USA or in India , including bureaucratic inertia !
May be the real debate will begin there after !
The NTSB is not comparable to Indian gov't bureaucracy. The time from incident to report is to allow for a systematic investigation and review of the causes and for taking time to make recommendations.

Sometimes immediate changes are recommended and implemented quickly for public safety well in advance of the complete report. Eg. The limiting of foreign pilots from simultaneous parallel runway operations in the says following the catastrophic crash was an immediate step to protect the public from individuals of limited skills.
Well, just in reference to the Indian government bureaucracy, I think somewhere in the past day or 2, there were reports that they still had not certified the 787 for the foggy landings at New Dehli as every other governing body of the nations that have them had done. As with all other technology, the aircraft industry is moving fast and they need to keep up with it. That landing technology is the same instrumentation used in other aircraft and there is no reason for them to penalize the new kid on the block because they can. When you have a company on it's knees and trying to get up, you help it up, not tell it to stay down.IMHO
once again....the press etc jumped to the wrong conclusion.... the poor firefighter that went through hell thinking she'd killed this poor soul...hate lawyers and lawsuits but, the firefighter ought to sue all who jumped to the wrong conclusion and made her life miserable
You mean the poor firefighter that rushed into the area without the DEPARTMENT REQUITED SPOTTER!
And ran over one of the survivors.
Who was it that clams the girl was dead, the CITY ATTORNEY.
The whole story is in the Helmut-Cam footage, including the single driver in a fire truck sliding into the sean with wheels locked-up.
This still does not absolve the FD "first responders." There is often this adrenaline-fueled mentality that you always need to race at top speed to a fire. There is almost never an urgent need to pour water or fire retardant on a totally destroyed aircraft. Well-trained pilots and doctors all know that the most important initial step in responding to an in flight or medical emergency is to slow down and act methodically.
You are certainly entitled to your opinion. I would be interested in your background/experience in addressing major fires/mass casualty incidents.
I don't know about your credentials but I find your statement basically BS. You are entitled to it as I am entitled to mine. A good example of faster response and putting on retardant is an article posted here a few days ago about the AirChina 737 burned at the gate. A faster response might have prevented a hull loss.
Nice homily Preach.
They did respond methodically.

A 777 airliner with over 300 souls crashed and burned on their airfield. All but 3 survived. That's a win no matter how you look at it.

All the responders/ firefighter near her at the time she was run over had put all their lives in danger. Not dealing timely and effectively with the fire could have resulted in a major fuel tank explosion that might have killed first responders and/or passengers nearby.
So in other words the officials of San Francisco are contradicting their own coroner's official report on when and how this girl died. I don't think that ones gonna work to good.
Of course it's political. This is Pelosi's state, and their criminal activity is all over this. Sorry, but there is too much conflicting " " " official " " " reports on this one. The San Francisco Fire Chief is in trouble here for not having certified Captains on duty, and many untrained firefighters as well. Come on people........CNN ? Please.
Ron Lorenz -1
My 2 cents worth. The firefighters are victims along with the Passengers!
If your looking to place the blame, put it all on the Pilot and the airline!
This didn't have to happen!
Sadly, this girl was killed by the pilot and her own act of not buckling up.
Amen. R.I.P.


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