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Following Up On Reports From The SFO Plane Crash


It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Rebecca Sheir.

More now on the breaking news out of San Francisco. That's where an Asiana Airlines flight from Seoul, South Korea, crashed earlier today. A team from the National Transportation Safety Board is investigating. Details are still sketchy surrounding the crash at San Francisco International Airport, which occurred at 11:36 a.m. Pacific Time.

NPR's Brian Naylor joins us now with more details. Brian, what do we know about injuries?

BRIAN NAYLOR, BYLINE: Rebecca, according to a spokesperson at San Francisco General Hospital, as many as 75 people were taken to hospitals from the airport this morning; 10 of those are critically injured. They're at San Francisco General. Five more patients are on the way. We still don't have any word on fatalities.

SHEIR: And, Brian, what more can you tell us about the actual crash itself?

NAYLOR: Not a lot at this point. It was, as you said, a Boeing 777, a long-hauled jet flying from Seoul, South Korea, flight 214. It apparently landed - crash landed at the beginning of runway 28 left. TV pictures show the jet sitting on its belly with the tail section missing, a gaping hole on the top. The jet's inflatable slides were deployed. We've seen pictures tweeted by witnesses who - of passengers walking away from the plane. So clearly, there were some survivors.

SHEIR: We've also heard from some witnesses. Krista Seiden was at the airport waiting for another flight when she saw the crash.

KRISTA SEIDEN: It was basically like: Oh, my God. A plane has crashed. And the agent was only a couple (unintelligible) away from me. And she was like: Are you serious? And she ran over to the window to look.

SHEIR: That was eyewitness Krista Seiden. Now, the NTSB just held a briefing in Washington. Let's hear now from spokeswoman Deborah Hersman.

DEBORAH HERSMAN: We're certainly going to be looking at the aircraft to try to find if the cockpit voice recorders and the flight data recorders are functioning at the time at the accident. We'll be looking to get information from them as well as document the accident scene.

NAYLOR: And that's Deborah Hersman. That team is on their way out from Washington. There's also a team of NTSB investigators on the ground in L.A. who will be heading up to San Francisco shortly.

SHEIR: Now, this Boeing 777 aircraft, Brian, what can you tell us about it?

NAYLOR: Well, it's a twin engine, long-haul plane. It's kind of the base plane for a lot of international flights. It was involved in at least one other accident at London's Heathrow Airport five years ago in which the plane crash landed short of the runway. That crash was caused by cloud fuel lines. At this point, it's too early to say if there's any connection between that incident and the one today in San Francisco.

SHEIR: Well, NPR's Brian Naylor, thanks for being here with us.

NAYLOR: Thanks, Rebecca. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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