The tail of the Asiana Airlines Boeing 777 flight from South Korea that crash landed in San Francisco was ripped off in the tragic accident that killed two Chinese nationals and injured nearly 200 others this afternoon.
Horrific photographs of the damage emerged moments after the crash as well as cell phone videos of the plane as it spun out of control just before 11.30am PDT Saturday. A huge blaze tore through the wreck, which onlookers described as cartwheeling on impact.
The two passengers who lost their lives in the crash were found on the ground outside the mangled jet, it was confirmed, and some survivors were also seen in the water just off the runway.
‘Some passengers were observed coming out of water – the assumption is that they maybe doused themselves, said Joanne Hayes-White, San Francisco’s fire chief.
Both victims killed in the crash were female and had Chinese passports. Early Sunday morning, NBC Bay Area reported that one of the women was adult, while the other was described as a 16-year-old girl. Autopsies will be performed Sunday on both victims.
In a bizarre twist, passenger Lee Jang Hyung told ABC News Saturday night that after the plane had come to a stop following the violent crash, a voice came over the intercom informing the terrified passengers that Flight 214 had landed safely and everyone should remain in their seats.
National Transportation Safety Board investigators were due to arrive at the airport at around midnight to begin the inquiry into what had caused the accident.
Local hospitals have treated 182 passengers and crew. Of all the patients, 49 were listed in ‘serious’ condition. Another 123 people were not injured.