BREAKING: Burning plane ‘literally broke apart’ in crash at San Francisco airport
A plane is burning on the runway at San Francisco International Airport while emergency personnel attempt to evacuate survivors. According to Heavy.com, the plane is a Boeing 777 Asiana flight that was coming in from Seoul, South Korea.
Witnesses are saying that the plane’s tail touched the runway as it attempted to land.
Raw Story will post more updates as information becomes available.
UPDATE: KTVU Channel 2 reported that the flight was carrying 290 passengers and that the plane’s tail section appeared to come off as the plane touched down. A witness told the TV station that at around 11:30 a.m. local time, the plane had extended its landing gear and was coming in to land when the tail section separated from the aircraft.
The plane reportedly began to wobble, then flipped on to its back, skidding to a halt with smoke pouring from the cabin. The Redwood City Fire Department is on the scene.
UPDATE: The San Francisco airport is closed. Flights are being diverted to Oakland, San Jose, Sacramento and LAX.
UPDATE: NBC News reported on Twitter that the National Transportation Safety Board is dispatching a team to San Francisco that will include chairperson Debbie Hersman.
UPDATE, 4:47 p.m. EST: KTVU-TV and KNTV-TV reported that two people were killed in the crash and at least 12 people have been hospitalized.
UPDATE, 4:59 p.m. EST:KTVU is now reporting that at least 61 people were injured.
Salon reported that Facebook CEO Sheryl Sandberg wrote on the social media site that she was originally supposed to be on the flight.
“We switched to United so we could use miles for my family’s tickets,” Sandberg wrote. “Our flight was scheduled to come in at the same time, but we were early and landed about 20 minutes before the crash.”
UPDATE, 5:49 p.m. EST: The airport indicated on Twitter that it would be reopening two runways Saturday afternoon, local time.
UPDATE, 6:24 p.m. EST: KTVU reported that a spokesperson for San Francisco General Hospital said at a press conference 10 crash victims — 8 adults and 2 children, all “Korean-speaking” — have been hospitalized there and are in critical condition with burns and fractures.
CNN reported that according to Asiana Airlines, 141 of the passengers on the flight are Chinese, along with 61 Americans, 77 South Koreans and 1 Japanese passenger.
UPDATE, 7:22 p.m. EST: San Francisco Fire Chief Joanne Hayes White confirmed at a press conference that 2 people were killed in the crash and 48 others were taken to hospitals in San Francisco and San Mateo counties. White said that the flight manifesto listed 291 passengers and 16 crew and started in Shanghai, China before stopping in Seoul prior to making its way to San Francisco.
UPDATE, 8:45 p.m.: With all but one person onboard the flight accounted for, a spokesperson for the airport said at an evening press conference that 181 people were hospitalized following the crash — 49 of them in serious condition — while another 123 were in the airport and reported no injuries. The death count remains at 2 victims.
UPDATE, 10:52 p.m. EST: San Francisco Fire Chief Joanne Hayes White said at a press conference that with all passengers accounted for, a total of 182 victims were hospitalized — 49 in critical condition — with 123 uninjured and 2 passengers killed in the crash. Their bodies were found on the runway. Local officials will hold a joint briefing with the NTSB on Sunday.
“This could’ve been much worse,” San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee said.
UPDATE: Live video about this story via NBC News, below:
Watch video shot at the scene and embedded via Heavy.com:
UPDATE: Watch more live coverage on KNTV-TV below.
View more videos at: http://nbcbayarea.com.