San Francisco, Jul 13: A third girl who was aboard the Asiana Airlines flight that crash-landed in San Francisco died on Friday, the same day that authorities confirmed one of the two Chinese teenagers killed in the disaster was hit by a fire engine, although it remained unclear whether that killed her.
Officials did not identify the latest fatal crash victim at the request of her parents. The girl's age was also withheld.
Doctors at San Francisco General Hospital said she had been in critical condition since arriving Saturday after the accident.
"We've all done everything that we could to take care of this young lady," said Dr. Geoffrey Manley, chief of neurosurgery at the hospital.
Also on Friday, police and fire officials confirmed that Ye Meng Yuan, 16, was hit by a fire engine sent to extinguish the blazing Boeing 777.
However, it remained unclear whether it was the fire engine that killed her.
Meng Yuan's body was found covered in firefighting foam near a seawall at the edge of the runway, along with three flight attendants who were flung onto the tarmac while still buckled in their seats.
"It's believed that the victim was covered underneath the fire retardant foam and was not seen," said Gordon Shyy, Police Spokesman at San Francisco Police Department.
"And when the fire truck moved, went over the victim. Now the question is, what was the cause of death? San Mateo County Coroner's office will make that determination. Whether or not the victim in this case died prior, or as a result, of the fire truck going over her."
Her close friend Wang Linjia, also 16, was among a group of passengers who did not get immediate medical help.
Moments after the 6 July crash, while rescuers tried to help passengers near the burning fuselage, Linjia and the flight attendants lay in the rubble almost 2,000 feet (610 metres) away.
Rescuers did not spot her until 14 minutes after the crash, she was later pronounced dead.
Meanwhile, crews removing the plane's wreckage encountered smoke early on Friday morning.
The smoke was captured by a local news station which said it occurred moments after crews used a crane to lift parts of the fuselage.
Heat and friction generated while crews were cutting the fuselage of Asiana Flight 214 might be to blame for the smoke.
Fire trucks at the scene doused the smoke before it turned into a fire.
The fuselage was cut into two pieces to make it easier to transport. Much of the wreckage has now been removed from the site.
Dozens of other passengers were injured, and although 182 were taken to hospitals, most suffered only minor injuries.
Nearly a week after the crash, the investigation indicates the pilots, a trainee and his instructor, failed to realise until too late that the aircraft was dangerously low and flying too slow.
Nothing disclosed so far by the National Transportation Safety Board investigators indicates any problems with the Boeing 777's engines, computers or automated systems.
Airport officials were hoping to re-open the runway by late Sunday.