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Coroner: Teen on Asiana flight killed by fire truck

SAN MATEO, Calif. -- As the wreckage of Asiana Flight 214 burned, Ye Meng Yuan was lying on the ground just 30 feet away, buried by the firefighting foam rescue workers were spraying to douse the flames.

No one knows exactly how the 16-year-old Chinese student got to that spot, but officials say one thing is clear now: She somehow survived the crash.

And in the chaotic moments that followed -- flames devouring the fuselage, those aboard escaping by emergency slides, flight attendants frantically cutting away seat belts to free passengers -- a fire truck ran over Yuan, killing her.

The new details -- released yesterday by the coroner's office -- confirmed the growing suspicions that emergency workers have had since soon after the July 6 crash: One of the three who died did so by rescuers' actions.

"There's not a lot of words to describe how badly we feel, how sorry we feel," San Francisco Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White said.

Yuan's family was upset after learning the details of their daughter's death, San Mateo County Coroner Robert Foucrault said.

"It was a difficult conversation," he said.

Hayes-White said she was trying to arrange a meeting with them and that the "tragic accident" would prompt a review of procedures.

Hayes-White said she did not immediately foresee any disciplinary action. San Francisco police and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the incident.

It was unclear how Yuan got from the airplane to the spot where she died. Investigators believe she was down on the ground and not standing up during the "volatile" and "dangerous" aftermath of the plane crash, Hayes-White said.

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