Chinese plane crash victims were student leaders

BEIJING (AP) — The two 16-year-old girls killed in the San Francisco plane crash were close friends and top students who were on Asiana Flight 214 to get a taste of American education and possibly brighten their futures.

Wang Linjia showed talent in physics and calligraphy; Ye Mengyuan was a champion gymnast who excelled in literature. Both were part of a trend among affluent Chinese families willing to spend thousands of dollars to send their children to the U.S. for a few weeks in the summer to practice English and hopefully boost their chances of attending a U.S. college.

Wang and Ye were among 29 students from Jiangshan on board the plane to attend a summer camp, sightsee and visit several U.S. universities.

The girls’ parents are heading from China to San Francisco.

APPHOTO XHG805: People gather to mourn for the two victims of the Asiana airline plane crash in San Francisco at a park in Jiangshan city in eastern China’s Zhejiang province on Monday, July 8, 2013. Chinese state media and Asiana Airlines have identified the two victims of the Asiana Airlines crash at San Francisco International Airport girls as Ye Mengyuan and Wang Linjia, students in Zhejiang, an affluent coastal province in eastern China. (AP Photo) CHINA OUT (8 Jul 2013)

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APPHOTO SEL802: Asiana Airlines President and CEO Yoon Young-doo, left, greets unidentified family members of two Chinese students killed in an Asiana Airlines plane crash on Saturday at San Francisco International Airport, at the transit lounge of the Incheon International Airport in Incheon, west of Seoul, South Korea, Monday, July 8, 2013. (AP Photo/Korea Pool via Yonhap) KOREA OUT (8 Jul 2013)

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