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Cause Of San Francisco Plane Crash Under Investigation

Max Schwartz |
July 7, 2013 | 10:09 a.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the cause of the crash. (Wikimedia Commons/Creative Commons)
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the cause of the crash. (Wikimedia Commons/Creative Commons)
Asiana flight 214 from Seoul, South Korea to San Francisco, California crashed during landing in San Francisco on Saturday around 11 a.m. 

The Boeing 777 was carrying 307 passengers - inlcuding 16 crew members - on the flight and the latest numbers say two people were killed and 182 people were injured. The airplane caught fire on impact. The question investigators must now answer is what caused the accident.

On Saturday night, multiple news agencies reported that the airplane hit a seawall during approach. Members of the aviation community are also discussing this as the possible cause.

Mercury News stated: "Asiana Airlines Flight 214 apparently clipped a sea wall in front of the runway, snapping its tail off." The Los Angeles Times reported on Saturday afternoon that officials "are looking into" that possibility.

Mike Barr - a USC aviation safety professor, accident investigator, and retired pilot - told King 5, "the plane approached the runway too low and something may have caught the runway lip - the seawall at the end of the runway."

The flight data recorders were retrieved from scene and flown to Washington, D.C. on Saturday. This will give the NTSB a picture of what was going on before, during, and after the accient.

USA Today is reporting that the two victims of the crash were 16-year-old females from China. Five passengers, "including a child," are in critical condition at San Francisco General Hospital and 49 remain in serious condition.

Asiana Airlines CEO has ruled out engine or mechanical problems. 

On November 19, 1980, Korean Air flight 015 also crashed during landing due to hitting an object before touching down. 15 people died from the crash, which occurred in poor weather. The cause was determined to be pilot error.

On Saturday at 9:17 p.m. Pacific Time, Los Angeles International Airport released its last statement of the evening.

Through the rest of this evening, a total of 23 outbound/departures to SFO and 20 inbound/arrivals from SFO are now confirmed cancelled. The three international flights that diverted to LAX and deplaned their passengers have all left LAX and bussing their passengers to SFO. Airlines that cancelled flights between LAX and SFO are making arrangements for their passengers, including: rebooking passengers on future flights, adding special flights if aircraft are available, bussing passengers to SFO, putting up passengers in airport-area hotels, asking passengers to return to LAX tomorrow, etc.   Tomorrow’s (Sunday’s) flights between LAX and SFO are heavily booked due to the combination of holiday weekend and peak summer travel, so it is expected the airlines will require one to two days to catch up on the backlog of cancelled flights.  Passengers are advised to check with their airlines – via their websites or directly by phone -- on the status of their flights before coming to LAX.


SEE ALSO: Update: Airliner Crashes At San Francisco Airport


Reach Staff Reporter Max Schwartz here; follow him on Twitter here.



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