Chinese Students in SFO Plane Crash Were Heading to LA on School Trip - NBC Southern California

Chinese Students in SFO Plane Crash Were Heading to LA on School Trip

A vigil is planned in West Hills for two passengers who died.



    Some SFO Crash Victims Were Bound for San Fernando Valley Church

    Many of the passengers on the flight that crash-landed in San Francisco were Chinese students who were supposed to spend the summer learning English with families at the West Valley Christian Church and School. Ted Chen reports from West Hills for NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on Sunday, July 7, 2013. (Published Sunday, July 7, 2013)

    A group of Chinese passengers aboard the plane that crashed at San Francisco International Airport on Saturday was headed to a summer school program in the Los Angeles area.

    Thirty-five students, of which two died in the fiery crash, were scheduled to arrive at West Valley Christian Church and Schools in West Hills for three weeks, according to the school’s website.

    The students were going to be hosted by families in the San Fernando Valley.

    “We are unsure what their next steps will be," the website said, "but we are certain that God knows and will help us care for them in this time of crisis."

    The two students killed were identified Sunday as Ye Mengtuan and Wang Linjia, both 16 and students at Jiangshan Middle School in eastern China.

    Shock and sadness filled the church’s Sunday service as members realized their students were on the plane.

    “We were just devastated. Is this really happening?” said Derek Swales, the school’s administrator.

    Swales said the school did not know how many in his group were injured or the extent of their potential injuries.

    The school said it planned to hold a prayer vigil for the victims at 7 p.m. PT at the school’s campus at 22450 Sherman Way (map) on Thursday.

    The school also said it was collecting gift cards, sympathy cards and other gestures of care for the students.

    West Valley regularly hosts international students and is due to host another group from Korea later this summer.

    Asiana Airlines Flight 214, which originated from Shanghai, China, and stopped in Seoul, South Korea, was carrying 291 passengers and 16 crew members when it crashed and burst into flames upon landing. SFO officials said 182 people were transported to hospitals, 49 with critical injuries.

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