Asiana Airlines Jet Crashes At San Francisco International
By Mark Memmott
Asiana Airlines flight 214 from Seoul, South Korea, crashed on landing at San Francisco International Airport on Saturday.
In a news conference at about 6 p.m. ET, National Transportation Safety Board chairwoman Debbie Hersman said investigators were being deployed to the scene.
"Obviously, we have a lot of work to do," she said, noting that it was too early to tell what had caused the crash.
Fortunately, passenger accounts and eyewitness reports in the first hour afterward indicated that most, if not all, of those on board were able to escape before the crippled Boeing 777 caught fire. There were videos and photos showing the escape ramps deployed and passengers walking away. One person who said he was on board tweeted that "everyone seems fine."
The crash happened around 11:30 a.m. local time (2:30 p.m. ET). In the chaotic hours immediately after, key questions remained unanswered, including: the cause, the extent of any injuries or whether there were any deaths, and how many people were on board.
It's now 6 p.m. ET. We're following the news as it comes in and have been posting updates.
Update at 7:15 p.m. ET. Eyewitness Account:
Krista Seiden, 26, saw the Asiana plane on the runway as she was boarding her own flight to Phoenix. The daughter of a pilot and a flight attendant, Seiden says she knew it was a crash immediately: "There's really no mistaking a big commercial airliner sitting on the runway and billowing clouds of smoke."
She says she saw the plane skidding along the runway, fuming with black smoke. Though they couldn't hear the crash from inside the terminal, as soon as passengers saw wreckage "there was just a lot of uncertainty and commotion."
Update at 6:13 p.m. ET. Reports From San Francisco Hospitals:
Mills-Peninsula Hospital reports having five people who were injured in the crash, but spokeswoman Margie O'Clair said "more are expected" and had no information on the patients' condition.
San Francisco General Hospital says it has 10 patients from the accident, eight adults and two children. "All patients are in critical condition," according to a statement from the hospital's communications officer, Rachael Kagan.
As we noted in an earlier update, the airline said 291 passengers were on board.
Update at 4:25 p.m. ET. About The 777:
Update at 4 p.m. ET. On The Passenger Who Tweeted "Everyone Seems Fine":
All Things D profiled Samsung executive David Eun in December 2011. He's the person who tweeted "I just crash landed at SFO. Tail ripped off. Most everyone seems fine. I'm ok. Surreal..." and posted a photo of the crippled jet that is now going viral.
Update at 3:52 p.m. ET. Nearly 300 On Board, KCBS Reports:
"The airline said 291 people were on board, but there was no official word on any casualties," reports San Francisco's KCBS-TV.
Update at 3:45 p.m. ET. Fire Quickly Extinguished:
"It's not immediately known how many casualties are involved, though televised pictures and images posted online show many survivors exiting the plane or standing outside the damaged aircraft afterward," write our colleagues on KQED's News Fix blog. "Thick smoke rose from the site of the crash on an airport runway, but the fire was quickly extinguished."
Update at 3:35 p.m. ET. "Everyone Seems Fine":
A man who says he was on board, Samsung executive David Eun, has tweeted that, "I just crash landed at SFO. Tail ripped off. Most everyone seems fine. I'm ok. Surreal..." He has also posted a photo of what looks to be the same plane that's being seen on the cable news networks' broadcasts. The photo, taken on the ground, shows a crippled Asiana Airlines jet, smoke rising, and passengers walking away.
Eun has also tweeted this: "Lots of activity here. Friends, pls don't call right now. I'm fine. Most people are totally calm and trying to..."
Update at 3:32 p.m. ET. Asiana Flight 214:
It was Asiana Airlines flight 214, which was due to land at 11:28 a.m. local time (2:28 p.m. ET).
Update at 3:27 p.m. ET. More From FAA:
"A Boeing 777 operated by Asiana Airlines crashed while landing at San Francisco International Airport. That's all I have for now." FAA public affairs manager Lynn Lunsford emails to NPR's Daniel Bobkoff.
Update at 3:22 p.m. ET. FAA Confirms, AP Reports.
The Associated Press just moved this alert: "FAA: Asiana Airlines flight crashes while landing at San Francisco airport; injuries unknown."