Surviving students hosted by consulate

Updated: 2013-07-11 11:36

By Chen Jia in San Francisco (China Daily)

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Surviving students hosted by consulate

Chinese Consul General in San Francisco Yuan Nansheng speaks to about 70 students and teachers who survived the Asiana Flight 214 crash landing in the city on Saturday. Photos by Chen Jia / China Daily

Surviving students hosted by consulate

Student survivors listen to a speech by Yuan Nansheng.

Surviving students hosted by consulate

Student survivors have a dinner hosted by the Chinese general consultate in San Francisco.

About 70 students and teachers who survived the Asiana Flight 214 crash landing in San Francisco gathered on Wednesday at the Chinese general consulate in the city and were encouraged to be brave and strong by Yuan Nansheng, consul general in the city.

At a dinner hosted by Yuan to calm and encourage the young survivors, Yuan said he was very sad to see that the two high school girls who were killed in the accident could not make to the gathering.

He said he hoped the students see the general consulate as their home in the US and feel safe and warm.

Eighty of the 138 Chinese passengers have arranged to stay at the Crowne Plaza, a hotel near the airport. The rest have left the city, heading either back to China or to other US cities.

With the assistance of the consulate general in San Francisco, Chinese students who survived the crash had video conversations with their families back in China on Tuesday.

Li Yiyang, 16, was among the students who were injured said she was asleep during landing and was choked to wake up.

She claimed the evacuation ladder was malfunctioning and felt she jumped off the aircraft.

The girl is now hospitalized in Stanford.

Yuan, along with the families of the two deceased girls, met with representatives of San Mateo Coroner's Office immediately after their landing, while several consuls from the consulate accompanied others to meet their injured relatives at San Francisco General Hospital.

At a news conference on Wednesday, the National Transportation Safety Board said the seatbelts in business class seats on Asiana Flight 214 had shoulder-and-lap straps, while travel class seats had lap belts only.

Asiana Flight 214, with 141 Chinese nationals among the total of 307 people on board, crashed on landing at San Francisco International Airport on Saturday, killing two Chinese teens.

NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman said the agency has learned that an Asiana pilot told flight attendants not to evacuate passengers on board when the plane crashed. They were only evacuated 90 seconds after the plane came to a stop and an attendant spotted fire outside a window.

NTSB investigators have so far interviewed six of the 12 flight attendants on the flight.

The Civil Aviation Administration of China said on Wednesday that it had sent two specialists to the US to monitor the investigation into the accident. The experts, who will be participating in the investigation as observers, arrived in San Francisco early Wednesday, the CAAC said.

The US Federal Aviation Administration also said on Wednesday that co-pilots must now have 1,500 hours of flight training for their certification to fly US passenger and cargo airlines, six times the previous requirement.

Previously, Asiana said one of the pilots on Flight 214 had 43 hours of experience flying a Boeing 777, the model of the crashed aircraft.