Asiana Airlines flight crashes while landing at San Francisco ai - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports


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Official: 2 dead in Asiana Airlines plane crash at San Francisco airport

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This aerial photo shows the wreckage of the Asiana Flight 214 airplane after it crashed at the San Francisco International Airport in San Francisco, Saturday, July 6, 2013. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) This aerial photo shows the wreckage of the Asiana Flight 214 airplane after it crashed at the San Francisco International Airport in San Francisco, Saturday, July 6, 2013. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - An Asiana Airlines flight from Seoul, South Korea, crashed while landing at San Francisco International Airport on Saturday, killing at least two people, injuring dozens of others and forcing passengers to jump down the emergency inflatable slides to safety as flames tore through the plane.

Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White said that as of Saturday evening the more than 300 people who were aboard Asiana Flight 411 had been located at either hospitals or the airport.

Earlier Saturday, Hayes-White had reported that authorities did not know where "upwards of 60" people were after the crash.

She says the confusion stemmed from survivors being brought from the wreckage from two different locations.

The Federal Aviation Administration said Flight 214 crashed while landing before noon PDT. A video clip posted to YouTube showed smoke coming from a jet on the tarmac. Passengers could be seen jumping down the emergency slides.

Mobile Users:  Click 'Full Site' to watch live coverage and to see Youtube video and reactions on Twitter.

Television footage showed the top of the fuselage was burned away and the entire tail was gone. One engine appeared to have broken away. Pieces of the tail were strewn about the runway. Emergency responders could be seen walking inside the burned-out wreckage.

This frame grab from video provided by KTVU shows smoke rising from an Asiana Airlines flight that crashed while landing at San Francisco Airport on Saturday, July 6, 2013. (AP Photo/KTVU)

Stephanie Turner saw the plane going down and the rescue slides deploy, but returned to her hotel room before seeing any passengers get off the jet, she told ABC News. Turner said when she first saw the flight she noticed right away that the angle of its approach seemed strange.

"It didn't manage to straighten out before hitting the runway," she said. "So the tail of the plane hit the runway, and it cartwheeled and spun and the tail broke off ... I mean we were sure that we had just seen a lot of people die. It was awful.

"And it looked like the plane had completely broken apart," she said. "There were flames and smoke just billowing."

Screenshot of YouTube video posted by straylor showing passengers jumping down emergency slides after an Asiana Airliner crashed at San Francisco International Airport, Saturday, July 6, 2013.

Fire trucks had sprayed a white fire retardant on the wreckage.

The National Transportation Safety Board said it was sending a team of investigators to San Francisco to probe the crash. NTSB spokeswoman Kelly Nantel said Saturday that NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman would head the team.

Click image to enlarge

This photo provided by Marilyn McCullough shows what a federal aviation official says was an Asiana Airlines flight crashing while landing at San Francisco airport on Saturday, July 6, 2013. (Marilyn McCullough/Twitter)

Asiana is a South Korean airline, second in size to national carrier Korean Air. It has recently tried to expand its presence in the United States, and joined the oneWorld alliance, anchored by American Airlines and British Airways.

The 777-200 is a long-range plane from Boeing. The twin-engine aircraft is one of the world's most popular long-distance planes, often used for flights of 12 hours or more, from one continent to another. The airline's website says its 777s can carry between 246 to 300 passengers.

The flight was 10 hours and 23 minutes, according to FlightAware, a flight tracking service. The aircraft is configured to seat 295 passengers, it said.

The last time a large U.S. airline lost a plane in a fatal crash was an American Airlines Airbus A300 taking off from JFK in 2001.

Smaller airlines have had crashes since then. The last fatal U.S. crash was a Continental Express flight operated by Colgan Air, which crashed into a house near Buffalo, N.Y. on Feb. 12, 2009. The crash killed all 49 people on board and one man in a house.

___

Associated Press writers Joan Lowy in Washington, D.C., and Scott Mayerowitz in New York contributed to this report.

Check out the Youtube video below and reaction to the crash on Twitter.

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