BEIJING—The two teenage Chinese girls killed in a South Korean passenger jet crash at San Francisco International Airport on Saturday were best friends and promising students, state media reported on Monday.
The pair, Ye Mengyuan and Wang Linjia, studied together at a high school in eastern China’s Zhejiang province, the Beijing Morning Post said, citing Ye’s relatives, who speculated they may have sat in the same row on the plane.
Ye, 16, an outstanding student and piano player and a national aerobics champion, was the pride of her family, the report said, citing teachers and her mother.
“She was learning music from me and was very gifted in singing,” the newspaper quoted a teacher surnamed Ai as saying.
Wang, 17, was an active and acclaimed student leader, according to her classmates.
“I feel very depressed after learning the news this morning,” said Lu Hao, a fellow student. “She was very friendly to all the classmates.”
Wang was good at Chinese calligraphy and painting, and her works hung in the office of her father, who owns a company, the report said.
The two were among a group of 30 students flying to the United States with their teachers to take part in a summer camp, previous Chinese media reports said.
Participants had paid nearly 30,000 yuan ($5,000) each for their places, according to the official news agency Xinhua.
Wang’s last posting on a Twitter-like weibo site was “Go!” apparently reflecting her excitement about the trip.
Chinese nationals made up 141 of the 291 passengers aboard the Asiana Airlines Boeing 777 that burst into flames after it landed short of the runway, injuring 182.
The two teenagers are the only deaths from the accident so far.