SAN FRANCISCO, Colo. (CBS4) – Two are dead and 180 others were hospitalized after an Asiana Airlines flight from Seoul, South Korea crashed while landing at San Francisco International Airport on Saturday.
The cause of the crash is unknown but there are indications the plane had problems on approach and may have clipped a wing on a rock retaining wall near the runway.
Among those injured approximately 49 are in critical condition. One person is unaccounted for.
The roof was burned off of the passenger plane and the tail broke off and pieces of the plane were scattered around the runway.
The Federal Aviation Administration says the Boeing 777 crash landed just before noon Pacific Time. It came to a stop off of runway 28.
An airline official says more than 300 people were on board Flight 214. Eye witnesses report the plane looked out of control as it approached the airport and then they heard a loud boom. Firefighters and ambulances rushed to the scene. Passengers used emergency slides to escape and crews transported some people to the hospital
“I do know people were removed from plane and exact status of them I don’t know,” airport spokesperson Doug Yakel said.
A team from the National Transportation Safety Board will lead the investigation.
CBS4 transportation consultant Mike Rosenker, former chairman of the NTSB, says because so much of the plane is intact investigators should be able to know exactly what happened.
“Certainly when the aircraft is able to get onto the ground and you’re able to evacuate passengers, this is the beginning of a good sign,” Rosenker said.
It could still take up to a year or more to know exactly what caused the plane to crash. Rosenker says the NTSB will also canvas the area looking for as many photos and videos that show the planes behavior in the moments leading up to the crash. The agency will also interview all of the survivors of the flight.
Because of the crash San Francisco International Airport had to close. That impacted travelers at Denver International Airport. Eighteen direct flights — nine arrivals and nine departures — between DIA and San Francisco were affected. Some of the flights were diverted to other airports and some were canceled.
Some runways were expected to reopen at San Francisco International later Saturday.