One of the Chinese teenagers who were found dead in the Asiana Airlines wreckage may have actually survived the crash – only to be struck and killed by emergency responders scrambling to the crash site.
As the first photographs begin to emerge of the two schoolgirls, authorities say one of the victims was found outside the plane and had apparently been hit by a fire truck or an ambulance.
San Francisco’s medical examiner is now conducting an autopsy to determine whether it was the vehicle that killed her or if she was dead before she was struck.
“One of the deceased did have injuries consistent with those of having been run over by a vehicle,” fire department spokeswomen Mindy Talmadge said.
“Many agencies were on the field.”
Wang Linjia’s parents were both on the fight, as well, and could be seen sobbing as they learned their daughter died in the crash
In the chaos of the crash-landing of Asiana Airlines Flight 214, dozens of police cars, fire trucks and ambulances rushed to the scene to help rescue the jetliner’s 291 passengers and battle the blaze that broke out on board.
Witnesses reported seeing dozens of people running on the tarmac, attempting to escape the burning wreckage of the plane.
Asiana Airlines said the two dead in San Francisco Boeing 777 crash landing were Ye Mengyuan and Wang Linjia, both 16 years old from Jiangshan in eastern China.
They were both headed for a summer camp in the U.S. – part of a group of 70 Chinese students and teachers aboard the Boeing 777 that crash-landed.
A total of 141 Chinese nationals were aboard the flight that was bound for San Francisco from Seoul, South Korea.
Wang Linjia’s parents were both on the fight, as well, and could be seen sobbing as they learned their daughter died in the crash.
The black box aboard the Boeing 777 jetliner set out three crucial moments – beginning 7 seconds before impact – that show the plane was approaching the runway too slowly and that the pilots were trying to correct the problem.
Asiana Airlines shares fell nearly 6% in Seoul, after one of its planes crash landed in San Francisco over the weekend.
US investigators have said the Boeing 777 was “significantly below” its target speed near the runway and the pilot tried to abort the landing.
The aircraft with 307 people came down short of the runway on Saturday, killing two people and injuring dozens.
Analysts said the incident may hurt the South Korean carrier’s earnings in the near term.
“Any airline that goes through a crash landing does take a hit to its reputation in the short term,” said Chris De Lavigne, an aerospace analyst with consulting firm Frost & Sullivan.
“We are likely to see some people cancel their bookings and think whether it is safe to fly Asiana, until there is sufficient reassurance from the airline that it has found the root cause and sorted it out.”
Chris De Lavigne added that the airline may also have to face additional costs in the form of fines from the authorities and possible damages claims from some passengers.
Asiana Airlines shares fell nearly 6 percent in Seoul, after one of its planes crash landed in San Francisco
Five people are in critical condition at San Francisco General Hospital, hospital spokesperson Rachael Kagan said. Three others are being treated at Stanford Hospital.
Altogether 181 people were taken to hospital, mostly with minor injuries.
There were 291 passengers and 16 crew on board, Asiana said. All of the passengers have been accounted for.
Deborah Hersman, the chief of the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), told a news conference on Sunday that there was a call to increase the plane speed about two seconds before the impact.
She said the pilot then requested a “call to go around” and not land.
For its part, the South Korean airline has said that it is currently not aware of any engine or mechanical problems.
Yoon Young-doo, the head of the airline has said that he was not ruling out human error but added the pilots were experienced veterans.
Analysts said that while it was too early to make any conclusions, the airline needed to act fast to recover from the incident.
“The first thing for Asiana to do is to really get down to the bottom of why this crash occurred,” said Chris De Lavigne.
“And if it is down to human error, make sure that it puts the procedures into place to ensure that it never happens again.”
However, he added that the airline had a good overall reputation and was “very well run”.
As for Boeing, analysts said that the incident was unlikely to have any impact on the plane maker’s reputation, not least because the airlines has so far ruled out any engine or mechanical problems.
The 777 aircraft is used by many major airlines and has a good safety record.
The only previous notable crash of a 777 plane occurred when a British Airways flight landed short of the runway at London’s Heathrow Airport in 2008.
Asiana Airlines Boeing 777 plane – believed to be carrying 291 – crash landed at San Francisco airport this afternoon reportedly killing at least two passengers and injuring 61.
The tail of the Asiana Airlines Boeing 777 flight from South Korea was ripped off in the tragic accident around 11.30 a.m. PDT and a huge blaze tore through the plane which onlookers described as spinning around on impact.
Horrific photographs of the damage emerged moments after the crash as well as cellphone videos of the plane as it spun out of control.
At least two of those on-board were killed, authorities have confirmed, with a further 61 injured.
Several other passengers managed to escape unscathed and could be seen fleeing down emergency inflatable slides.
A coastguard team was also dispatched to search the nearby water.
A huge smoke cloud could be seen for miles from the site of San Francisco International and tourists in the airport terminal and on waiting flights could only look on in horror as the plane spun across the runway on its belly.
Onlookers said much of the tail came off in the crash while others reported seeing the plane’s fuselage spinning around as it journeyed across the concourse.
The entire ceiling of the plane was destroyed in the blaze that immediately followed.
Asiana Airlines Boeing 777 plane crash landed at San Francisco airport this afternoon reportedly killing at least two passengers and injuring 61
Emergency workers rushed to its aid and doused it with white foam to try and control the flames. They were able to help those who were miraculously able to escape the wreckage and were seen fleeing down emergency slides.
According to an excerpt of the radio recorded at the airport tower the plane was cleared to lane at 18.21, just over a minute later the flight called in and appears to have called for emergency assistance.
An onlooker named Kristina Stapchuck told CNN it looked like the tires split and the plane leaned back on the tail before the tail broke off.
Others described it as “cartwheeling” across the runway.
One witness told CNN that there didn’t seem to be any preparations for a crash landing before the plane came in suggesting it was an issue that only emerged on landing.
The weather conditions were also described as ideal for San Francisco airport which can often be blighted with fog and poor visibility.
Luckily no other standing planes were caught in the accident despite dozens waiting to take off from the major airport.
The plane departed Incheon airport near South Korea’s capital around 10 hours ago and was due to land at 9.45 a.m. on the West Coast.
All flights in and out of San Francisco have now been cancelled with several being diverted to nearby Oakland International or Los Angeles.
Face CEO Sheryl Sandberg was supposed to be on the flight but decided to change her flight last minute so she could use air miles on a United flight instead, according to her post on Facebook.
“Taking a minute to be thankful and explain what happened. My family, colleagues Debbie Frost, Charlton Gholson and Kelly Hoffman and I were originally going to take the Asiana flight that just crash-landed. We switched to United so we could use miles for my family’s tickets. Our flight was scheduled to come in at the same time, but we were early and landed about 20 minutes before the crash.”
Asiana is a South Korean airline, second in size to national carrier Korean Air. It has recently tried to expand its presence in the United States, and joined the OneWorld alliance, anchored by American Airlines and British Airways.
The 777-200 is a long-range plane from Boeing. The twin-engine aircraft is one of the world’s most popular long-distance planes, often used for flights of 12 hours or more, from one continent to another. The airline’s website says its 777s can carry between 246 to 300 passengers.
The last time a large U.S. airline lost a plane in a fatal crash was an American Airlines Airbus A300 taking off from JFK in 2001.
Smaller airlines have had crashes since then. The last fatal U.S. crash was a Continental Express flight operated by Colgan Air, which crashed into a house near Buffalo, N.Y. on February 12, 2009. The crash killed all 49 people on board and one man in a house.
The National Transportation Safety Board said it was sending a team of investigators to San Francisco to probe the crash. NTSB spokeswoman Kelly Nantel said Saturday that NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman would head the team.
A Boeing 767 flying from Newark operated by Polish LOT airlines made an emergency landing at Warsaw airport today.
The aircraft, which was flying from Newark, New Jersey, with around 230 people on board made a belly landing at Warsaw’s airport on Tuesday after reported trouble with landing gear.
Captain Tadeusz Wrona radioed ahead to let the control tower know there was a problem with deploying the landing gear. After several attempts, however, it was decided that the aircraft would have to come down without any wheels.
While the plane circled the Warsaw for an hour, dumping excess fuel and repeatedly trying to solve the problem, ground crews prepared for a crash landing, closing the airport to all other flights and clearing nearby streets. Fire crews also sprayed the runway with foam in a bid to prevent a fire from breaking out.
Captain Tadeusz Wrona lifted the nose of the aircraft slightly as it approached the tarmac. As it slid along the runway, smoke billowed from the undercarriage followed by bright flashes from under the engines.
When it came to a halt, fire engines that were waiting along the sides and at the end of the tarmac rush towards the plane, dowsing it with foam.
Meanwhile, passengers are quickly ushered off down the inflatable chutes on either side.
News channels and TV crews were on the scene soon after learning about the impending disaster and the incredible landing was beamed live around the world.
Nearby streets were cleared and a landing strip was especially prepared at the airport for the crash landing.
Staff worked hard to find a technical solution to the landing gear problems while in the air, but eventually had to try to land.
It was reported that nobody was injured, passengers or crew members.
Leszek Chorzewski, spokesman for the Polish national flag carrier LOT, the aircraft operator, said:
“All safety procedures worked perfectly fine and, thanks to this, nobody was injured.”
A Boeing 767 flying from New York operated by Polish LOT airlines made an emergency landing at Warsaw airport today
Polish television footage showed the plane landing on its belly, with a few sparks flying as the craft hit the runway which had been covered with flame retardant foam.
There was no blaze reported but firefighters hosed the plane with water and foam as a precautionary measure.
LOT aircraft passengers were evacuated from the plane, which had circled above Warsaw before the crash landing. Warsaw airport remained closed for all other flights.
Warsaw airport has been closed until 8:00 a.m. on tomorrow. Poland’s President Bronislaw Komorowski congratulated and thanked the pilot, Captain Tadeusz Wrona, and the rest of the crew for their successful landing.