Parents of teens killed in Asiana crash attend vigil near SFO

July 13, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
People gathered to honor and remember three girls who lost their lives in the Asiana crash at San Francisco International Airport one week ago.

Some of Flights 214's passengers are still at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Burlingame. Also at the hotel are the parents of the two young women who were the first ones to die in the crash. They surprised and pleased the organizers of the vigil by coming over and speaking to the crowd.

More than 100 people mostly from the Buddhist group Tzu Chi gathered at a small park on Airport Boulevard in Burlingame to hold a vigil for Flight 214's passengers.

Among the people attending were the parents of the first two casualties of the crash -- Ye Ming Yuan and Wang Lin Jia. The parents, who were still visibly grieving, spoke through a friend.

Sandy Chua, a volunteer with Tzu Chi, translated.

"They were really grateful for everyone that's out here today because they don't know anyone in the city," Chua said.

On Friday, officials at San Francisco General Hospital announced that a third passenger had died. Liu YiPeng, 15, had been at the hospital in critical condition since the July 6 accident. She died Friday morning.

China News says she went to school with the other two victims killed in the crash.

On Chinese social media sites, friends and strangers have left condolences and lit virtual candles on what is believed to be her micro blog.

"It's very important that we gather all the energy and all the love from the people in the Bay Area together and radiate that kind of love and energy to those families," said Minjhing Hsieh, Tzu Chi CEO and organizer of Saturday's vigil.

Flowers were laid on a platform to show each person's compassion for those who died and those still suffering.

The vigil was held in sight of the runway at SFO where the plane crashed one week ago. That runway is now open.

SKY7 HD was overhead as the Asiana plane was moved to the northern part of the airport.

Some who attended this vigil say they were not invited, but were drawn to the ceremony by the music, love, and the peace they said emanated from the people gathered.

"It was just a very spiritual sense," vigil attendee Maura Kelly said. "It was such a peacefulness and a kindness that drew me in here and I can't tell you what this means to me."

Thirteen people from the Asiana Airlines crash remain in Bay Area hospitals. Six are at SF General, two at Mills Peninsula, two at California Pacific Medical Center, and one each at Stanford, St. Mary's, and St. Francis

The NTSB says the investigation into the crash is still ongoing. Their field investigation was due to be finished Saturday. The aircraft will be cut up and placed in Washington DC and in a local hanger for further study. The NTSB says it'll hopefully hold an investigative hearing in the next 12 to 18 months.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report)


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