Two Dead and 61 Injured in Airplane Crash in San Francisco

Two Dead and 61 Injured in Airplane Crash in San Francisco

A plane carrying over 300 people, crashed at the San Francisco International Airport on Saturday killing two people and injuring 61, according to the San Francisco Fire Department who expect the number of injured to increase. The plane was carrying 292 passengers and 16 crew members

Asiana Airlines flight 214 from Seoul, South Korea, crashed while attempting to land at San Francisco International Airport, leaving a trail of debris on the runway.

According to a spokesperson from San Francisco General, of the 10 critically injured they have received, two are children.

Many of the passengers taken to San Francisco General are Korean.  The hospital is working to find translators, but says at this time the injured are too critical to communicate.

Early reports suggested a difficult landing in which the tail of the plane struck the airstrip and broke apart.

Upon impact a fire erupted and black smoke filled the air, which could be seen from miles away.  Passengers jumped onto the inflatable emergency slides to exit the plane.

Firefighters sprayed white fire retardant on the plane. The top of the fuselage was burned away and the entire tail was gone. One engine appeared to have broken away, according to reports.

It is not clear what happened to the plane upon landing, but it appears it landed and then crashed.

“The plane started coming in at an odd angle, there was a huge bang and you could see the cloud of huge black smoke,” Kate Belding, who was jogging near the airport at the time of the crash, told KPIX.

Kelly Thompson, who witnessed the crash for a hotel parking lot, stated there was a horrible thud and then the plane bounced and then slid on the run way.

Rescue workers rushed to the scene of the crash.

Spokesperson Lt. Cdr. Shawn Lansing told CBS News that two passengers with burns were airlifted to Stanford University Hospital by the US Coast Guards.

Laura Brown, a spokesperson for FAA, stated that the airport was closed at the request of the city.  No flights were allowed in or out.

Incoming flights were rerouted to Oakland, Sacramento, Los Angeles and San Jose, said Francis Zamora, of the San Francisco Department of Emergency Management.

The National Transportation Safety Board is dispatching a team of investigators to San Francisco to survey the crash. According to NTSB spokeswoman Kelly Nantel, Deborah Hersman, NTSB Chairman, will head the team.

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 Star Alliance, which is anchored in the U.S. by United Airlines.

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 airline, founded in 1988, is based in Seoul, South Korea. It has recently tried to expand its presence in the United States, and joined the oneWorld alliance, anchored by American Airlines and British Airways.

President Obama was informed of the crash and a statement was released from the White House:

“The President has been made aware of the situation and his team will update him as new information becomes available. We will continue to stay in constant contact with our federal, state and local partners as they respond to this event,” the statement said.

Boeing also sent a tweet.  “Our thoughts are with everyone affected by today’s incident at SFO,” Boeing said on its Twitter account. “We stand ready to assist the NTSB.”

As of this report two passengers died and 61 were injured but the numbers may change.

By: Veverly Edwards
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