SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. - An Asiana Airlines Flight crashed while landing at San Francisco International Airport Saturday morning. According to recordings from air traffic control, the pilot declared an emergency just before landing.
Witnesses said the Boeing 777 appeared to have hit a sea wall at the end of the runway, then burst into flames. Debris was visible in the water.
The crash happened just before noon as the plane was landing at SFO. Witnesses said the plane came in with its nose high in the air, and the plane's tail appeared to hit the runway, causing the the jet to crash, cartwheel and burst into flames.
KGO-TV, citing numerous sources, said 2 people had been killed, and at least 61 people were injured. Emergency slides were deployed from the plane's exits. A photograph from Twitter shows what appear to be passengers walking off the plane.
"I just crash landed at SFO" read the accompanying messaged from David Eun. Eun is an executive at Samsung. His tweet went on to read "Tail ripped off. Most everyone seems fine. I'm OK. Surreal..."
KRCR News Channel 7's Mike Mangas was near SFO at the time and sent back video and photos. He spoke with a woman who heard the crash.
Portia Whitely told Mangas she was in her hotel room, heard a boom and didn't think anything of it until she saw news of the crash on her Facebook page. She's due to fly out tonight, and with the airport closed, she's doesn't know if she'll be able to leave.
Flight 214 had flown from Seoul, South Korea. There were 291 passengers on board and 16 crew members.
Anthony Castorani, who was at a nearby hotel and saw the flight land, said he saw the plane's tail touch the ground then saw a plume of smoke.
"You heard a pop and you immediately saw a large brief fireball that came from underneath the aircraft. It began to cartwheel," said Castorani.
The top of the aircraft was charred and in spots, gone entirely.
Another witness told Mangas it took about 5 minutes to open the doors of the plane to get the passengers out.
The airport is about 12 miles south of downtown San Francisco.
Asiana Airlines is one of South Korea's two major airlines, the other being Korean Air.
All flights are cancelled until further notice.
Stay with KRCR News Channel 7 for continuing coverage.
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