Updated 1:31pm — A Boeing 777 crash landed at San Francisco airport this morning, killing at least two people, injuring 181 and forcing passengers to evacuate as flames tore through the plane.
Many injuries were minor, but passengers and possibly some crew were reportedly treated for burns and other injuries
10 people remain in hospital and their condition remains “critical”.
A NZ Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) spokesman said no New Zealanders were on board.
It appears the plane crash landed early – hitting the jetty before the runway starts (in the harbour), snapping the tail off and causing the plane to lose control.
Eyewitnesses say the plane then lost control, crashing, then sliding to a stop near the start of the runway where it initially crashed. It then erupted into flames according to eyewitnesses.
An eyewitness on a plane that had just landed on a parallel runway said the tail hit the ground first, the plane appeared to bounce, then the tail and an engine came off, before the plane spun around and burst into flames from the centre.
Reuters says onboard the plane 141 were Chinese citizens, 77 South Koreans and 61 US citizens.
There are reports – still not confirmed – of 291 passengers on board and 16 crew members.
Early reports suggest the plane was too low – and looks as though it could have almost crashed short of the runway in the sea.
San Fran is the 10th busiest airport in the US and has the largest international terminal in the nation.
Image / David Eun, Twitter
As of 11:30am Sunday NZT two of the four runways at SFO were open.
WeatherWatch.co.nz says those flying from Auckland to San Fran should check with their airline for the latest travel details.
The plane that crashed was operated by Asiana Airlines from Seoul South Korea and crashed while landing in calm, sunny, weather.
Some passengers were in need of burn treatment reports local TV.
Some experts believe the aircraft was coming in too low or with too little power. Some suggest there was turbulence near the start of the runway too – another smaller aircraft that landed just seconds before the 777 crashed had suddenly veered left right on landing, according to a passenger, due to what she was “turbulence” – however she stressed the plane she was on was much smaller.
– Screengrabs via CNN, ABC and local TV
– WeatherWatch.co.nz with NZ Herald & FNC
on 6/07/2013 10:27pm
This is extremely sad and tragic, considering the injuries and loss of life. Now we wait for the formal investigations to begin, to determine the causes. I worked in the travel industry for many years – Asiana were considered to be a safe, premium airline (based in South Korea).They have won international awards over recent years for the professional and high standards of their inflight services, (including food/wine/entertainment and cabin crew). Their safety record was spotless. It’s such a shame. They were flying the Seoul/Auckland/Seoul route too, in recent years, using this same type of aircraft (777).Not sure if they are still flying to NZ or not, they were serious competition for KE Korean Airlines SEL / AKL / SEL when they did.The mission statement of the airline was “uncompromising safety”, and they were the first airline worldwide to be granted ISO9002 certification on aircraft maintenance – extremely difficult and prestigious to achieve. Given that, it makes you wonder if human/Pilot error might be the cause of this mornings’ incident at SFO.
on 6/07/2013 8:01pm
What a shocker, confidence in this great looking plane must be about zero now.
Who will want to fly in it?