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Parents of teen killed in jet crash file claim against San Francisco

The parents of a Chinese girl who survived the Asiana Airlines crash but was run over by emergency vehicles and died have filed a claim against the city San Francisco.

Uncredited / AP file

Ye Meng Yuan poses for photos in a classroom in Jiangshan city in China's Zhejiang province.

The claim said emergency crews were reckless and poorly trained.

Attorneys for the parents of Ye Meng Yuan, who was 16 when she died, say firefighters who came across the girl after the July 6 crash should have examined her and transported her to a safe place.

"She was the only child," Gretchen Nelson, an attorney for the family, told Reuters. “That is a significant issue. In China there is a one child policy and this was their one child."

Nelson said that state law dictates that a claim be filed within six months of the crash. No specific dollar amount in damages was requested.

Firefighters have told investigators they thought the girl was dead as they hurried toward the wreckage of Asiana Flight 214 at San Francisco Airport on July 6.

An autopsy showed that Yuan was alive at the time the vehicles hit her. 

The Asiana flight hit a seawall in front of the runway during its final approach then slammed into the ground before cartwheeling and coming to a smoky stop.

The impact tore open the rear of the plane, tossing out three flight attendants and their seats and scattered pieces of the Boeing 777 across the runway.

The crash killed three Chinese teens and injured more than 200 others out of 307 people aboard. 

In the family’s claim, attorneys at the Los Angeles law firm Kreindler and Kreindler, which specializes in aviation-related lawsuits, name 37 individual airport, fire and police department employees,  The Associated Press reported.

Two San Francisco firefighters saw the girl lying on the ground and alerted a supervisor, but they were instructed to move on and failed to mark her location, the claim says.

How Yuan was separated from the plane remains unknown, though the claim says rescuers may have removed her from the plane.

Documents introduced at a National Transportation Board Hearing said that girl was actually run over twice – once by a fire rig spraying foam and about 15 minutes later by a water truck.

As a result of Yuan’s death, airport firefighters in San Francisco are getting more training.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

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Marcio Jose Sanchez / AP

A firefighter stands by a tarpaulin sheet covering a body near the wreckage of Asiana Flight 214 after it crashed at the San Francisco International Airport on July 6.