An Asiana Airlines Boeing 777 with 307 people on board crashed and burst into flames as it landed at San Francisco International Airport on Saturday after a flight from Seoul.
Officials said 123 escaped without injury and 181 were hospitalized or treated for injuries. Among the injured, 49 are in serious condition and five at San Francisco General Hospital, including a child, remain in critical condition. Among the 47 others at San Francisco General, several were treated for minor injuries, including fractures and abrasions, and were released Saturday night.
After approaching the airport across San Francisco Bay, the plane appeared to strike the edge of the approach area of the runway. The tail came off and the aircraft left a trail of debris before coming to rest beside the runway.
One survivor said the pilot seemed to be trying to gain height just before the aircraft struck the runway. There was no immediate indication of the cause of the crash and federal officials were travelling from Washington to investigate.
The Asiana flight departed from Seoul at 5:04 p.m. Korean time and touched down in San Francisco at 11:28 a.m. local time, according to FlightAware, a website that tracks flights. The flight lasted 10 hours and 24 minutes, it said.
Saturday’s crash landing was the first fatal accident involving a major commercial carrier in the U.S. since November 2001, when a American Airlines flight to the Dominican Republic crashed on takeoff in Queens, N.Y., killing all 260 people on board. The last fatal accident involving a commercial flight in the U.S. was Colgan Air Flight 3407, which crashed near Buffalo, killing 50 in 2009.