Asiana crash in San Francisco, 2 die
- Published: 7/07/2013 at 08:33 AM
- Online news:
SAN FRANCISCO - At least two people were killed and 130 injured early Sunday (Thailand time) when an Asiana Airlines Boeing 777 clipped a seawall and crash-landed at San Francisco International Airport.
The Associated Press has a slideshow of photos of the aftermath of the crash.
The plane, Boeing's largest twin-engine model, appears to have struck a seawall where the runway meets San Francisco Bay, said John Cox, a Washington-based aviation safety consultant who has participated in several National Transportation Safety Board investigations. That suggests that the jet was coming in short of the runway, Cox said in an interview.
"It's not a little bit short," Cox said. "It's a lot short."
One person was unaccounted for from among the 307 passengers and crew, said airport spokesman Doug Yakel. He said 181 people were taken to local hospitals. There were 291 passengers and 16 crew members.
San Francisco Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White said the investigation has been turned over to the FBI and terrorism has been ruled out.
The passengers included 77 South Koreans, 141 Chinese, 61 from the U.S., and one Japanese person, according to a statement from Asiana.
Five crash victims were in critical condition at San Francisco General Hospital, a spokeswoman, Rachael Kagan, told reporters.
An FBI agent said there was no sign the crash was the result of a terror attack.
"At this point in time there is no indication of terrorism involved," said FBI special agent David Johnson.
Hayes-White said firefighters and emergency teams rushed to the scene after the plane experienced what was initially called a "hard landing."
According to witnesses, the plane appeared to clip a seawall short of the runway, snapping off the tail and leaving a trail of debris before the aircraft finally came to a stop.
"When we arrived on scene the chutes had already been deployed and we observed multiple numbers of people coming down the chutes and actually walking to their safety, which is a good thing," Hayes-White said. (Story continues below)
The accident marked the third time a 777 was destroyed in an accident, according to AviationSafetyNetwork, an online log of aviation crashes. No one died in the two previous incidents.
A British Airways Plc 777 landed short of a runway at London's Heathrow Airport on Jan. 17, 2008, after its engines stopped, according to the U.K.'s Air Accidents Investigation Branch. The plane came to rest in a field.
An EgyptAir 777 was destroyed by fire on the ground at Cairo International Airport on July 29, 2011, according to AviationSafetyNetwork. The fire erupted in the cockpit as the crew was preparing to depart.
The San Francisco airport was initially closed to all incoming and outgoing flights after the crash, though two of four runways were later reopened.
More than 300 flights were canceled as crews worked to clean up the wreckage and begin an investigation. The tally consisted of 195 departures and 148 inbound flights, according to FlightAware.
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Writer: Bangkokpost.com, from Agency reports