Biographies of 3 Chinese SF airliner crash victims

BEIJING (AP) — The three victims of the July 6 crash of Asiana Airlines Flight 214 in San Francisco were teenage girls who attended the same school in eastern China:

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Liu Yipeng, 15, has been described as a standout student in math, physics and essay writing, as well as a fan of video games. Like the other two victims, she was a student at the Jiangshan Middle School in the relatively wealthy eastern province of Zhejiang and had been traveling to the U.S. to attend a summer camp, visit college campuses and do some sightseeing. Such tours are well beyond the means of most Chinese, but have become popular among the newly emerging middle class as a way of improving their children’s English and preparing them for possible enrollment in an American college. Photos posted by Liu’s friends show her holding a microphone and addressing the camera at her school’s student television station. Liu and her schoolmates are examples of China’s urban “Post-’90s” generation, born into prosperity and security but likely to be single children who are under intense pressure from parents and teachers to excel academically. Liu died Friday after being hospitalized with severe head and abdominal injuries sustained in the crash.

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Wang Linjia, 16, was a star student in physics and calligraphy and was described by neighbors as quiet, courteous and hardworking. Confident and popular, she would interview her classmates as part of her work as a student reporter and served as class monitor for three years. Her father proudly displayed her calligraphy and artwork on the walls of his office. The final posting on her microblog account read: “Give yourself some affirmation, you’re stronger than you think. It’s only called youth because it’s painful. I always feel like there’s not enough time, yet I have no idea where my time goes.” Wang was among a group of injured passengers who didn’t get immediate medical help. Rescuers didn’t spot her until 14 minutes after the crash, finding her along with three flight attendants who were flung onto the tarmac but survived the crash.

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Ye Mengyuan, 16, was a champion athlete who excelled at literature, playing the piano, singing and public speaking. Her given name means “wish come true” in Chinese. Ye was Wang’s close friend, and cellphone pictures posted online by friends show the two girls dressed in their school’s track suit uniforms, smiling and mugging for the cameras. Local media reports said she had recently won a national aerobics competition and routinely received honors at the school’s annual speech contests. Footage released by state broadcaster CCTV after her death showed Ye playing piano at an event earlier this year, dressed in a polka dot skirt with her hair done up in a neat bun. Ye had been badly injured in the crash, then covered on the runway in flame-retardant foam and hit by a fire truck speeding to the crash site. Her exact cause of death wasn’t clear.

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