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Last patient from Asiana jet crash released from S.F. hospital

October 23, 2013|By Lee Romney

SAN FRANCISCO -- The last patient injured in the crash of Asiana Airlines Flight 214 and treated at this city’s trauma hospital has been released, 109 days after the Boeing 777 slammed into the runway at San Francisco International Airport.

The July 6 crash occurred when the jetliner clipped a sea wall on approach to landing. The tail sheared off and 180 people were injured, about a half a dozen of them critically. Three teenage girls from China who were on their way to a Christian summer camp were killed -- one when she was run over by a firefighting vehicle while obscured by foam.

At least one of the girls was ejected from the rear of the plane, and investigators said two flight attendants who were seated in the rear were also ejected through the tail gash. They survived.

The woman released Tuesday from San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center in good condition was transferred to a Bay Area rehabilitation facility, hospital officials said in a statement Wednesday. Her family has asked that her name and location not be released.

She suffered a spinal cord injury that resulted in paralysis, road burns over 30% of her body and severe intestinal injuries that prevented her from taking solid food for two months, and underwent about 30 surgeries, including neurosurgery, multiple abdominal procedures, extensive wound care and skin grafting, the hospital said.

“This hospital saved her life,” Dr. Margaret Knudson, chief of surgery, said in the statement. “She’s one of the sickest patients I’ve ever cared for in my career. Our whole team breathed a big sigh of relief when she left."

“She’s a real save,” added Knudson, who performed 21 of the surgeries. “She was smiling when she left. It was a beautiful sight.”

The hospital received 53 patients on the day of the crash and ultimately treated 67, among them 31 children. Stanford Hospital, in Palo Alto, treated an additional 55 patients.

Another woman who had arrived in critical condition was also discharged in good condition to a rehabilitation facility on Sept. 22.

On Friday, San Mateo County Dist. Atty. Stephen M. Wagstaffe announced no charges would be filed in connection with the death of Ye Meng Yuan, 16, who was alive on the tarmac when she was run over by a specialized aircraft rescue firefighting truck.

After reviewing "numerous videos" and reports from coroner's officials, police officers, firefighters and other first responders, his office determined there was "no criminal culpability for any individual involved in the response to the airline crash."

The National Transportation Safety Board continues to investigate the crash, which was caused when the Korean airliner came in for landing too low and too slow.


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