777 Landing Accident At SFO (Updated)
The CEO of Asiana Airlines has ruled out technical issues with the aircraft involved in Saturday's landing accident in San Francisco. "For now, we acknowledge that there were no problems caused by the 777-200 plane or (its) engines," Yoon Young-doo said at a news conference in Seoul Sunday. Yoon would not be drawn into blaming the pilots aboard the aircraft, which included three experienced captains. Two people died and about 180 were injured, some seriously, in the first fatal crash of the 777. Although the aircraft was eventually heavily damaged by a post-crash fire, it appears the fire didn't take hold until after the more than 300 people aboard had gotten off the aircraft. A photo tweeted by passenger David Eun moments after the crash showed passengers walking away from the aircraft and taking cellphone photos. "I just crash landed at SFO," wrote Eun in the tweet. "Tail ripped off. Most everyone seems fine. I'm ok. Surreal..." According to USA Today the aircraft hit a seawall that surrounds the airport and stopped about 2,500 feet north beside Runway 28L. All of the 307 aboard have now been accounted for. The bodies of the two girls were found outside the aircraft.
One witness quoted by The New York Times said on Twitter that the aircraft "came in at a bad angle, flipped, exploded." Television images show a debris field extending to the water's edge and there have been numerous reports that the aircraft's tail struck the ground. It then spun laterally before stopping in the infield between two runways, minus the tail and parts of the wings. Two of SFO's four runways reopened about four hours after the accident.
A LiveATC recording that was apparently edited has been copied to YouTube. It begins with a pilot aboard the aircraft reporting a seven-mile final but the next audio appears to be an exchange between the aircraft and tower after the crash in which the controller assures the crew that the equipment is rolling.