San Francisco crash: No word on injuries

2013-07-06 23:38

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San Francisco - An Asiana Airlines flight from Seoul, South Korea, crashed while landing at San Francisco International Airport on Saturday, forcing passengers to jump down the emergency inflatable slides to safety. It was not immediately known whether there were any injuries.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesperson Laura Brown said Flight 214, with 292 passengers and 16 crew on board, crashed while landing on runway 28.

A video clip posted to YouTube showed smoke coming from the Boeing 777 on the tarmac. Passengers could be seen jumping down the emergency slides.

Television footage showed the top of the fuselage was burned away and the entire tail was gone. One engine appeared to have broken away. Pieces of the tail were strewn about the runway. Emergency responders could be seen walking inside the burned-out wreckage.

Stephanie Turner saw the plane going down and the rescue slides deploy, but returned to her hotel room before seeing any passengers get off the jet, she told ABC News. Turner said when she first saw the flight she noticed right away that the angle of its approach seemed strange.

"It didn't manage to straighten out before hitting the runway," she said. "So the tail of the plane hit the runway, and it cartwheeled and spun and the tail broke off ... I mean we were sure that we had just seen a lot of people die. It was awful.

"And it looked like the plane had completely broken apart," she said. "There were flames and smoke just billowing."

A call to the airline seeking comment wasn't immediately returned.

The National Transportation Safety Board said it was sending a team of investigators to San Francisco to probe the crash. NTSB spokesperson Kelly Nantel said Saturday that NTSB chair Deborah Hersman would 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 oneWorld alliance, anchored by American Airlines and British Airways.

Read more on:    boeing  |  us  |  search and rescue  |  plane crashes

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