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Three from China died in plane crash in San Diego

By Liu Yinmeng in Los Angeles | China Daily USA | Updated: 2018-06-08 22:29
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Three Chinese citizens were identified on Wednesday as victims of a fatal plane crash in San Diego last month, officials said.

Gao Fei, a spokesman for the Chinese Consulate General of Los Angeles, confirmed that all three victims — a flight instructor and two students — were Chinese nationals from Scandinavian Aviation Academy, a flight school at Gillespie Field.

"The investigation is still ongoing, but we will continue to follow up on the incident," he said.

According to a May 11 news release from the San Diego Sheriff's Department, local authorities received a report of a possible plane crash near Volcan Mountain around 8:40 pm the previous day.

An ongoing vegetation fire, sparked by the crash, and the steep terrain of the site, prevented ground units from reaching the plane immediately.

Firefighters didn't make it to the aircraft until May 13, when the fire was 100 percent contained, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

Authorities found the charred bodies of unnamed victims near the crash site.

According to a report from the San Diego Department of the Medical Examiner, all three victims died of multiple blunt force injuries and thermal injuries.

"Upon learning the news, the Chinese Consulate General immediately urged the rescue team and the flight school to carry out the rescue process," Gao said.

He said the consulate general helped the family members of the victims apply for US visas so they could fly to California to recover the bodies of their loved ones.

In addition to visiting the local police department to learn about the situation, staff from the consulate general also met with flight school officials and urged them to take effective measures to ensure the safety and rights of the trainees, Gao said.

According to its website, the flight school is a satellite training center for Scandinavian Aviation Academy, which is headquartered in Sweden.

It is approved by the Civil Aviation Administration of China to train cadets for commercial airlines in China. It provided sponsored airline training for airlines such as China Eastern, China Southern, Hainan, Xiamen, Spring, Tianjin and Shenzhen Airlines.

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