Third victim of the Asiana air crash at San Francisco airport has been identified

Identity of third child revealed as authorities confirm that one of the earlier victims was hit by a fire engine

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The Independent US

A young girl who became the third person to die after being involved in the crash of a passenger plane at San Francisco airport last Saturday has been identified as a 15-year-old Chinese girl.

Liu Yipeng had been in critical condition since the crash and died on Friday, according to a statement from two doctors at San Francisco General Hospital. Her identity was confirmed by the San Mateo County Coroner on Saturday.

The girl's death follows those of two Chinese teenage girls during the incident. Authorities said that 16-year-old Wang Linja had been found dead, alongside three surviving flight attendants near the runway seawall, while her friend Ye Meng Yuan, also 16, was hit by a truck while covered in firefighting foam - though it is not clear whether she was already dead when the collision occurred.

Liu Yipeng attended the same school as the two girls.

Police spokesman Albie Esparza said: "The firetruck did go over the victim at least one time. Now the other question is what was the cause of death? That's what we are trying to determine right now."

Moments after the crash, while rescuers tried to help passengers near the burning fuselage, Wang Linjia and the flight attendants lay in the rubble almost 2,000 feet away. A group of survivors called 911 and tried to help them.

Members of the group - martial arts athletes and their families returning from a competition in South Korea - said that after escaping from the plane, they sat with at least four victims who appeared to be seriously hurt. They believe one of them was one of the girls who died.

Cindy Stone, who was in the group, was recorded by the California Highway Patrol calling in for help: "There are no ambulances here. We've been on the ground 20 minutes.

"There are people lying on the tarmac with critical injuries, head injuries. We're almost losing a woman here. We're trying to keep her alive."

The flight attendants remained in hospital yesterday.

"The driver may not have seen the young lady in the blanket of foam," said Ken Willette of the National Firefighter Protection Agency.

"These could be factors contributing to this tragic event."

The victims were close friends and top students, looking forward to spending a few weeks at a Christian summer camp in California, where they planned to practice English and boosting their chances of attending a US college.

Their parents were flown to San Francisco after their deaths where the Chinese consulate was caring for them.

The Boeing 777 airliner collided with a rocky seawall just short the runway. Dozens of other passengers were injured, and although 182 were taken to hospitals, most suffered only minor injuries.

Nearly a week after the crash, the investigation indicates the pilots, a trainee and his instructor, failed to realise until too late that the aircraft was dangerously low and flying too slow.

Nothing disclosed so far by the National Transportation Safety Board investigators indicates any problems with the Boeing 777's engines, computers or automated systems.