CBS News – An Asiana Airlines flight from Seoul, South Korea, crashed while landing at San Francisco International Airport on Saturday, littering the runway with debris and forcing passengers to jump down the emergency inflatable slides to safety.
San Francisco General said they have received 10 of the critically injured, including two children.
Early reports indicate that Asiana Airlines Flight 214 made a hard landing, with the tail of the plane striking the runway and breaking off.
The resulting fire sent black smoke billowing into the air, visible for miles.
“The plane started coming in at an odd angle, there was a huge bang and you could see the cloud of huge black smoke,” Kate Belding, who was jogging near the airport at the time of the crash, told KPIX.
“It was a horrible thud,” said Kelly Thompson, who observed the crash a hotel parking lot at the airport. She said the plane bounced, then slid on the runway.
Rescue vehicles were on the scene immediately afterwards, with fire trucks spraying a white fire retardant on the wreckage.
Spokesperson Lt. Cdr. Shawn Lansing told CBS News that the U.S. Coast Guard flew two people with burns from the triage center via helicopter to Stanford University Hospital. The severity of the burns is unknown.
The airport has been closed at the request of the city, according to FAA spokesperson Laura Brown. No flights were being allowed in or out of SFO at this time, although a runway may reopen soon, said Brown.
Francis Zamora, of the San Francisco Department of Emergency Management, said flights are being diverted to Oakland, Sacramento, Los Angeles and San Jose.
The National Transportation Safety Board said it was sending a team of investigators to San Francisco to probe the crash. NTSB spokeswoman Kelly Nantel said Saturday that NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman would head the team.
Asiana is a South Korean airline, second in size to national carrier Korean Air. It has recently tried to expand its presence in the United States, and joined the oneWorld alliance, anchored by American Airlines and British Airways.
David Eun, a Samsung executive who was on board the plane, posted a photo online showing passengers leaving the wreckage.
MORE NEWS THAT MAY INTEREST YOU: