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Two Chinese teenagers reportedly killed in Asiana jet crash

English.news.cn   2013-07-07 23:48:29            

BEIJING, July 7 (Xinhua) -- An Asiana Airlines Boeing 777 that burst into flames after it slammed into the runway at San Francisco airport on Saturday morning has left two Chinese middle school students killed and 182 passengers injured.

Based on information obtained from the boarding passes, two female middle school students from Jiangshan City, Zhejiang Province, died in the accident, but the identities of the victims have yet been confirmed by DNA tests.

The two girls were travelling with a group of middle school students and their teachers from Jiangshan on Asiana Airlines Flight 214 to take part in a summer camp in the United States.

Meanwhile, 30 students and six teachers from north China's Shanxi Province were aboard the same flight, the provincial education department said Sunday.

A total of 141 Chinese citizens were among the 291 passengers aboard the flight when the jumbo jet broke off its tail and caught fire before braking to a bumpy stop that gave time to most of the passengers to slide down the emergency doors.

A Chinese passenger that survived the crash recalled that the jet caught fire at around the 20th row inside the aircraft, so he believed that the seriously injured might be sitting before the 20th row.

"It is incredible and very lucky that we have so many survivors. But there are still many that are critically injured," said San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee, who sent condolences to the families of those killed and injured.

Some 182 people were injured and have been sent to nine hospitals near the airport. Forty-eight people remained in serious condition, Lee told reporters.

The Chinese Consulate General in San Francisco has set up an emergency team to assist the Chinese passengers and coordinate with the local municipal government on the aftermath of the crash.

Asiana Airlines President Yoon Yong-doo bowed and apologized over the crash landing at a televised press conference on Sunday.

"I am bowing my head and extending my deep apology" to the passengers, their families and the South Korean people over the crash, he said.

The airline said it plans to launch a task force in Beijing to cope with the accident accordingly, but stopped short of confirming any casualties, except saying that the two Chinese victims were born in 1996 and 1997, respectively.

A spokesman for Asiana Airlines said the two killed Chinese teenagers were seated at the back of the plane.

San Francisco Fire Department Chief Joanne Hayes-White said the the two killed were found on "the exterior" of the plane.

Boeing expressed concern over the accident and said it will provide technical assistance to the investigation.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has expressed great concern over the accident and sent condolences to the Chinese victims and their families.

He instructed the Chinese embassy in the United States, the Chinese Consulate General in San Francisco, and the Chinese embassy in South Korea to work all out to accommodate the injured Chinese citizens and survivors and meanwhile keep in close contact with the U.S. and the South Korea side.

South Korean President Park Geun-hye offered her condolences to the families of passengers and said her government would make all necessary efforts to help handle the aftermath, according to her spokeswoman Kim Haing.

Asiana is South Korea's No. 2 airline, second in size to national carrier Korean Air. It has been trying to expand its business by attracting passengers with lower price tickets and shorter transits.

The Boeing 777-200 is a twin-engine aircraft often used for continental flights because it can travel 12 hours or more without refueling.

An earlier notable accident involving a Boeing 777-200 occurred on Jan. 17, 2008 at Heathrow Airport in London, causing 47 injuries but no fatalities.

Editor: yan
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