The Slatest

Plane Crashes at San Francisco International Airport

A Boeing 777 airplane lies burned on the runway after it crashed landed at San Francisco International Airport July 6, 2013

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Update, July 7, 7:30 p.m.: The National Transportation Safety Board chairwoman said Sunday the pilots of the crashed Asiana Airlines flight tried to abort their landing seconds before the crash. The plane’s cockpit recorder as well as data collected by an independent aviation firm suggest the jetliner descended too fast as it approached the runway because it did not have enough airspeed. Investigators are still looking into whether the landing errors were due to pilot miscalculations.

Previous Update, July 7, 11:00 a.m: Officials identified the two passengers killed as two 16-year-old Chinese students. The two teenagers, both women, were believed to have been seated near the rear of the plane. All passengers have been accounted for.


Previous Update, July 6, 10:20 p.m: At least two people were killed in Saturday’s crash, according to authorities. Over 180 people were injured and taken to nearby hospitals. One person remains unaccounted for. Asiana Airlines has said there were 291 passengers on board and 16 crew members.


The cause of the crash has not yet been confirmed. Based on witness accounts, the AP reports the plane may have flown in too low as it approached its landing and caught the runway edgea seawall at the end of the runway.

Previous Update, July 6, 4:40 p.m.: Federal aviation officials confirm a Boeing 777 flight from Seoul, South Korea, operated by Asiana Airlines crashed while landing at San Francisco International airport (SFO) on Saturday at 11:26 a.m. PDT. The National Transportation Safety Board says it will designate a team to investigate the crash.


The number of injuries or passsengers on board has not yet been confirmed. A passenger, David Eun, who survived the crash posted this tweet after he walked away: “I just crash landed at SFO. Tail ripped off. Most everyone seems fine. I’m ok. Surreal…”

It is not clear at this point what caused the crash. The New York Times reports plane debris is scattered across the runway:

Both wings remained attached but one engine was ripped off. The tail was snapped off some distance from where the plane finally came to rest in the grass off the runway.

The Boeing 777 can carry between 246 and 300 passengers. Asiana is South Korea’s second largest carrier after Korean Air. According to the AP, the last time a large U.S. airline experienced a fatal crash was in 2001.


In Slate, Matthew Yglesias reiterates the incredible safety of passenger airplanes.

Original story, July 6, 3:50 p.m.: Federal aviation officials confirm an Asiana Airlines flight crashed while landing at San International Francisco airport (SFO) on Saturday.

Photos and video posted to Youtube and Twitter show smoke billowing from the Boeing 777 jet on the runway. ABC’s local affiliate reports firefighters are on the scene. You can follow ABC’s live blog for the latest developments.

It is not clear at this point what caused the crash.Though witnesses have noted the plane didn’t look right as it landed. The number of injuries is unknown. More details to come.

This post has been updated with the latest information and a new image.