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Amateur video of crash; Pilots tried to abort landing 1.5 seconds before impact

(CNN) — The cockpit voice recorder of Asiana Airlines Flight 214 appears to show the pilots attempting to abort the landing just 1.5 seconds before it crashed at San Francisco International Airport, the National Transportation Safety Board chairman said Sunday.

sf jet crashThe pilots appear to have increased speed 7 seconds before impact, and they then “called to initiate a go-around 1.5 seconds to impact,” Deborah Hersman said.

The NTSB’s preliminary assessment of the plane’s cockpit and flight data recorders show the flight was coming in too slow and too low, but Hersman stopped short of pinning the blame on the pilots.

“We have a long way to go in this investigation,” she said.

The captain of Asiana Airlines Flight 214 was identified Sunday night as Lee Kang-gook, a veteran airline pilot since 1994 but who had only 43 hours of experience flying the B777-200, the plane that crashed, officials said.

Survivors of the crash were being treated Sunday for injuries ranging from paralysis to “severe road rash.”

But they’re alive.

In all, 182 people were hospitalized and 123 others walked away from Saturday’s crash landing of a Boeing 777. The number who emerged unscathed prompted the city’s fire chief to describe it as “nothing short of a miracle.”

Amateur video surfaced on CNN Sunday showing Asiana Airlines Flight 214 approaching the runway and striking what appears to be a seawall before rotating counterclockwise and coming to a stop. Fred Hayes said he shot the video about a mile from the crash scene.

The death toll remained unchanged Sunday. Two 16-year-old girls died in the crash.

“We were expecting a lot of burns,” said Dr. Margaret Knudson, San Francisco General Hospital’s chief of surgery. “But we didn’t see them.”

At San Francisco General, 19 survivors remained hospitalized, six of them in critical condition.

Many of the injured said they were sitting toward the rear of the aircraft, said Knudson. Several suffered abdominal injuries and spine fractures, some of which include paralysis and head trauma, Knudson said. Many patients also were treated for “severe road rash,” she said, which suggests “that they were dragged.”

The conditions of victims at other hospitals was unclear Sunday.

In Washington, investigators were examining both flight data recorders, which could reveal clues to what caused the crash landing.

Survivors and witnesses reported the 7-year-old airliner appeared to be flying too low as it approached the end of a runway near the bay.

“Stabilized approaches have long been a safety concern for the aviation community,” Hersman told CNN on Sunday, saying they represent a significant threat. “We see a lot of runway crashes.”

“We want to understand what was going on with this crew so we can learn from it,” Hersman said.

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