Fire official: Asiana ambulances in staging area

Associated Press
A group of people stand in front of the wreckage of Asiana Flight 214, which crashed on Saturday, July 6, 2013, as buses that were reported to be carrying passengers and family members are parked next to it on a tarmac at San Francisco International Airport in San Francisco, Wednesday, July 10, 2013. Two passengers were killed and many others were injured in the crash. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A San Francisco fire official says passengers who called 911 after an Asiana Airlines plane crashed at the airport may not have immediately seen ambulances at the scene because the vehicles were dispatched to a nearby staging area.

Fire spokeswoman Mindy Talmadge says that in multi-casualty accidents, ambulances are initially sent to a staging area while first responders assessing victims' needs. Victims are then taken by ambulances as needed.

Passengers aboard Asiana told 911 dispatchers that ambulances were slow to respond.

Talmadge says that within 18 minutes of receiving word of the crash, five ambulances and more than a dozen other rescue vehicles were either on the scene or en route while crews from the airport fire department and San Mateo County were already onsite.

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