Third person dies in Asiana air crash
A girl died in hospital on Friday, becoming the third fatality in the crash of an Asiana Airlines jet at San Francisco airport last Saturday, doctors said.
The child, who died on Friday morning, had been in critical condition, according to a statement from two doctors at San Francisco General Hospital. They gave no further details.
The third girl who died in the aftermath of the crash of an Asiana Airlines jet at San Francisco airport last Saturday is a Chinese national, a spokesman for the Chinese consulate in San Francisco said on Friday.
The crash landing of the Boeing also killed two Chinese teenage girls and injured more than 180 other people.
Survivors of Asiana Airlines Flight 214 returned to the site of the crash Wednesday evening. Passengers were taken by tour bus to the area. At the same time, another Asiana Airlines flight scheduled to leave Shanghai for Seoul on Thursday afternoon was delayed after the Airbus A330 aircraft was found to be leaking oil as it was taxiing toward the runway for take-off, local media reported.
The tour came several hours after an emotional news conference by crew members.
Cabin manager Lee Yoon-hye tentatively approached the podium and humbly expressed grief and condolences before a bank of cameras.
“I wholeheartedly feel it was unfortunate that such an incident occurred,” Lee said in Korean, striking a far more apologetic tone than in a news conference earlier in the week with Korean reporters. “I pray that everyone who was hurt by this incident will recover swiftly.”
She added that, „We flight attendants and Asiana Airlines together will do our best to work toward a fast recovery.”
Asiana Airlines had announced the news conference around midday and dozens of reporters gathered at San Francisco International Airport in hopes of hearing their accounts of Saturday’s crash, which left two people dead and 182 people injured. Among the injured are three flight attendants who were ejected from the rear of the plane when the tail sheared off on impact.
But when the half-dozen members of the crew were escorted by police into the small aviation museum that has served as a makeshift media staging area, they looked pained and uncomfortable.
In the meantime, a customer service agent at Seoul’s Pudong International airport said that another Asiana flight which was originally scheduled to depart around midday on Thursday had been delayed until further notice.
A spokeswoman at Asiana Airlines in Seoul said she was unaware of the reports and was looking into the matter. Officials at Pudong airport said they were also investigating the case.
The news portal for Sina Corp said the leak occurred near the main landing gear and caused the engine to shut down while taxiing. The aircraft had to be towed back to the gate, it said.
The California Highway Patrol has released audio of the emergency calls related to the deadly Asiana Airlines Flight 214 plane crash at San Francisco International Airport.
The audio begins with a call from a man hiking on a trail just outside of Pacifica. He notifies the dispatcher of the crash landing at SFO and that he heard a „giant explosion.”
Another call comes from a passenger who was on the plane and describes the moments after survivors were able to escape the plane.
Also in the recordings, a woman reports a severely-burned victim of the crash needing immediate help, and that there were not enough emergency crews on scene at the time of her call.
The pilot at the helm of the Asiana Airlines flight told investigators he saw a flash of light while trying to land the plane and was temporarily blinded, National Transportation Safety Board Chairwoman Debbie Hersman said on Wednesday.
Lee Gang-guk, the pilot who was landing the Boeing 777 for the first time at San Francisco International Airport, told both NTSB and Korean investigators the plane was at an altitude of about 500 feet when he saw the flash, or about 34 seconds away from the runway, according to the NTSB timeline.
“We really don’t know what it could’ve been,” Hersman said when asked if the flash could’ve been a laser of some type.
The altitude of about 500 feet is also where the pilots have told investigators they discovered they were too low in their approach on the runway, and by then the plane had slowed too much for them to pull up in time to avoid striking the seawall that ripped off its tail.
Hersman has declined to point to either pilot error or mechanical problems on the aircraft for the crash that killed two, and on Wednesday she gave detailed descriptions of the array of automated processes that were available the crew.
But while that automation equipment is “very helpful” to aviators, pilots are ultimately responsible for their plane’s fate, she said.
“There are two pilots in the cockpit for a reason,” she said, emphasizing that the pilots control the autopilot and autothrottle and are expected to monitor what happens.
An Asiana pilot initially told flight attendants not to evacuate a Boeing 777 that had crashed onto a San Francisco airport runway, National Transportation Safety Board chairwoman Deborah Hersmansaid Wednesday.
Passengers were told to stay in their seats, Hersman said. The evacuation began 90 seconds after the plane came to a halt, when a flight attendant saw fire outside the window. The first emergency crews arrived 30 seconds later.
In a press conference on Wednesday, National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Chairman Deborah Hersman said the pilots were in contact with air traffic controllers in the seconds after the plane crashed, and told flight attendants not to order passengers to evacuate.
„It seems a little unusual that the crew would not announce an order to evacuate after a plane crash,” Hersman said.
„We don’t know what the pilots were thinking.”
Hersman also confirmed some of the evacuation slides had inflated inside the aircraft as it bounced along the ground, injuring a flight attendant and possibly hindering passengers’ escape.
It has been revealed that the pilot at the controls when the plane crashed was landing a Boeing 777 at San Francisco’s airport for the first time, while the instructor pilot beside him was in that role also for the first time.
US investigators have begun reviewing flight data and video footage, and have interviewed all four pilots and half of the flight attendants.
Voice of Russia, Reuters, BBC, nbcbayarea.com, LA Times
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