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Rescue apparatus may have hit plane crash victim, official says

SAN FRANCISCO -- A rescue apparatus may have "contacted" a victim on the tarmac after Saturday's Asiana Airlines plane crash, a San Francisco Fire Department official acknowledged at a news conference Monday.

Dale Carnes, an Assistant Deputy Chief for the San Francisco Fire Department at the airport said officials would not answer more questions until their investigation was complete because doing so would be "simply conjecture."

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"As you can imagine, it's a very dynamic environment with an aircraft fire and some 300 victims," Carnes said. He said fire officials immediately ran the information up the chain of command and added that the department is cooperating with investigators on the crash.

Fire officials said Sunday that one of the victims had  "injuries that were consistent with having been run over by a vehicle."

Two 16-year-old girls from China were found dead on the tarmac after the crash, which also seriously injured dozens of travelers.

One was seemingly ejected from the plane when it struck a sea wall near the runway and broke apart. The other was found near the wreckage of the plane, San Mateo County Coroner Robert J. Foucrault said Sunday.

Asiana Airlines identified the victims as Wang Linjia and Ye Mengyuan. The two were part of a student group from Jiangshan Middle School in China's eastern Zhejiang province, according to Chinese media reports.

Asiana Flight 214 originated in Shanghai and stopped in Seoul before flying to San Francisco International Airport, where it crash-landed, killing the students and injuring more than 180.

Multiple agencies are investigating the accident scene, spokeswoman Mindy Talmadge said, including the National Transportation Safety Board. The cause of death for both girls will be determined by the coroner's office.

Autopsy results are expected soon.

Foucrault said fire officials had mentioned the possibility of the accident to his investigators, but that nothing is known yet.

"The reason we do autopsies is to determine a cause of death," Foucrault said. "What we are trying to do is determine whether this young lady died of an airline crash or of a secondary incident. If it does involve a secondary incident the people who may be involved should be aware of it, as well as the family."

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