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Jet crashes at San Francisco airport

Around 12 p.m. July 6, an Asiana jet plane crashed on the runway at the San Francisco International Airport. At least two people were killed in the incident and more than 40 injured. A cause for the accident is under investigation by the NTSB.

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asiana plane crash

Photo by David Eun, passenger on plane. Via Path.

SAN FRANCISCO — A Boeing 777 passenger jet crashed on landing at San Francisco International Airport on Saturday, killing at least two on board and injuring dozens of others.

Officials said 60 passengers were still unaccounted for but said they were not presumed dead. Rather, officials said they were still trying to assess where all 307 passengers and crew members were taken.

The Asiana Airlines jetliner caught fire when it hit the tarmac, causing black smoke to billow into the sky.

Many passengers were able to get out of the plane before it was consumed by flames.

In a brief phone interview, a passenger who didn’t want to give his name told The Times that many passengers were able to get out unharmed. “Most of the people seem OK and we’re just letting the paramedics do their job,” he said.

Federal investigators were trying to determine what went wrong. But a source involved in the investigation said the plane appeared to have clipped a sea wall while landing. Mechanical difficulties have not been ruled out, but investigators are focused on whether Asiana flight 214 from Seoul, South Korea, came in too low, according to sources familiar with the investigation who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The plane appeared to hit the sea wall dividing the airport runway from San Francisco Bay, possibly causing the tail to come apart.

Multiple sources told The Times that there was no reported trouble or declared emergency on the plane before it landed.

Witnesses described the plane coming in very low, and pictures and video from the accident appear to show that the debris field began at the sea wall and stretched for hundreds of feet.

Asked at a news conference if pilot error was a factor, Deborah Hersman, chairwoman of the National Transportation Safety Board, said “everything’s on the table at this point. We have to gather all the facts before we reach any conclusions.”

Hersman said that federal investigators are deploying now to examine the crash. She said officials from South Korea will also be invited to participate in the investigation.

Thousands of passengers were stranded at San Francisco International Airport after the crash, which occurred just before 11:30 a.m. Many stunned travelers watched the dramatic landing of the Boeing 777 from the huge plate-glass windows inside the terminal.

For hours after the crash, emergency vehicles with flashing lights swarmed around the plane, and other official vehicles went back and forth along the runway. Several police boats raced through the water near the runway.

“We are very shocked,” said South Korean Deputy Consul General Hong Sung Wok. “We have to take care of this sad situation. We will make all efforts to take care of these families. We also express our sorrows to the victims.”

He said he was told that most people were safe.

Ten Korean-speaking passengers are in critical condition at San Francisco General Hospital. Eight adults and two children were admitted, and the adults ranged in age between 20 to 40.

Four were men, and six were women. The hospital has had to set up tents outside the emergency room to accommodate additional patients from the crash who don’t require trauma care, said Rachael Kagan, a spokeswoman for the hospital.

“We have seen a variety of injuries you would associate with a crash or fire,” Kagan said, including burns, fractures, and internal injuries. Some patients needed to go immediately into operating rooms.

Officials said 60 passengers were still unaccounted for but said they were not presumed dead. Rather, officials said they were still trying to assess where all 307 passengers and crew members were taken.

–Los Angeles Times

Post Card of Sea-Tac, 1950s

Photo courtesy

SE – The SEA-TAC — A deadly Asiana plane crash in San Francisco caused a list of cancellations and diversions at Seattle-International Airport.

Three domestic flights were cancelled soon after the crash. Two Virgin America and one United flights were cancelled for hours. Six international flights were diverted to Seattle throughout the day. Hundreds of people lined up at ticket counters hoping to get on another flight.

By Saturday evening, runaways at SFO reopened allowing many of the stranded passengers to finally take off for San Francisco.

Airport officials say to check your airline if you are going to SFO or have a connection there.