tv NBC Bay Area News Special NBC July 6, 2013 6:30pm-7:01pm PDT
this is the flight pattern. the flight path coming in to runway 28 l. that's how the pilots talk. essentially you see a smooth glide path from about 3,000 feet all the way down to the end of runway 28 l where the plane touches down. now, let's look at what happened today. apparently, we understand this was a little bit of a tail wind. the plane was a little higher than it should have been. and suddenly, in order to correct for that with the tail wind pushing it, again, you need to get down so it takes a little steeper glide path. we also must point out that the glide path electronic equipment on 28 l was not working. it was a visual flight rule. so that's been confirmed by sfo. nothing wrong with that commercial pilots do it all the time. in this case, the plane made a steeper descent and essentially, got too low. it cost lift. it didn't have power. the pilot apparently tried to overcorrect, tried to get more
air under him. get more lift. so essentially, pointed the nose of the plane up which is exactly what the witnesses say happened. and when he did that, you see he is still over the water. he is trying to get more lift and touchdown. when he did that, the nose went up, the tail went down and scraped along the rock barrier between san francisco bay and the end of runway 28 l. that apparently caused quite a hard hit. then the tail went off the plane and at that point, he lost all control of that airplane. in fact, it is quite fortunate that it was able to come to rest and so many people were able to walk off with very few injuries or no injuries at all. >> absolutely. thank you. if you're just now tuning in, here's what we know at this hour. some definitive number and different inty reports. 307 people on this asiana flights 214 from seoul to sfo. you see what it looked like at
11:27 am during the crash. this photo was taken at about 11:28 a.m. just a minute after the smoke surrounding this plane. 307 people on board. we're told 306 accounted for. one person is still unaccounted for at this moment. two people have died. 49 serious injuries. and people are being treated at hospitals from san francisco down to stanford as we speak right now. >> president obama is aware of the situation and no terrorism is involved. >> and san francisco general has told us it currently has 27 patients, is the number we're getting at this point. ten are in critical condition. they say they do have most of the patients there. there are korean nationals and they are dealing with interpreters and have brought people in. this may be one of the reasons why one of those is still unaccounted for.
initially a couple hours ago we heard 60 people were unaccounted for. there may be a language barrier issue but those numbers have been shored up. we're starting to hear more numbers that sound more realistic. she's been there at 1:00 this afternoon. and we're starting to hear more. 123 passengers were supposed to still be in the airport that we're being processed. have we been able to see any of those people? are we hearing their accounts yet? >> not yet. we've been at the reflection area where people are coming periodically and we have not heard or seen those passengers. only the ones we saw earlier that we brought to you, probably about a couple hours ago. probably about six or eight people that we did see there. the majority of the people we have no idea where they are right now. it is incredible to hear the numbers that they're trying to come in to focus.
it has taken seven hours to get the exact number. 123 people injured. earlier we reported 60 people unaccounted for. now we are hearing that one person is unaccounted for. we've went staging near the reflection room. we've been talking about that room all afternoon long. and we talked to a friend of one of the passengers. let's listen in. >> i checked on twitter. and some of the -- then i heard from his wife who is back in korea. she was traveling with him and he came back for his work. and i heard back from his wife that he safely made it out of the plane. he called his parents to tell this. so i got that information because his wife is not here, no one to check exactly where he is. i went to his place and he was not there so i decided to come
here. >> what was his wife saying? for her that had to have been frightening. >> yeah. i think she remained pretty calm. and i didn't talk to her that much. it was basically more like he's safe. >> reporter: so it sounds as though it is good news for that friend but he hasn't seen him yet. it is probably a translation situation. a language barrier, if you will, getting information for the people on board that plane. we got some information as far as the translation from asiana airlines. and it is from a press release and it says a total of 219 passengers on board. 16 crew members. there were 77 koreans. 141 chinese. 61 u.s. citizens and one japanese passenger. so again, we are told that there are 123 people uninjured. we're still trying to figure out if there is somewhere where we can see them or talk to them.
and understandably so. the officials here at the airport are keeping them sequestered somewhere and keeping them out of the light of the media. we are still trying to be respectful and see if we can find them and talk to them and see exactly what happened on that plane. reporting live, i'm cheryl hurd. nbc bay area news. >> have the people at the airport given you an outline of what will happen to those 123 people at the airport that were on the flight? what is supposed to be the protocol for them are they being held there? will they be putting them up? what is supposed to unfold in the next few hours. it has been five hours or more since this disaster ham. what happens over the next eight hours. >> reporter: those are excellent questions. and they're really not giving as you time line as to what is going on. we are waiting for the next news briefing. that is supposed to take place
at 7:30. i'm sure they're sequestered somewhere. they're waiting for the ntsb to come in. the so-called go team. we heard from the ntsb spokesperson in washington, d.c. telling us exactly what the protocol is. those are excellent questions. and maybe those folks that we did see, the six or so people taken from the reflection room to another location, maybe they're interviewing them there. we just don't know. but at 7:30, when we are faced with the officials down at the press conference area, definitely ask those questions. >> thank you very much, cheryl hurd reporting for us live from sfo. >> it has been seven hours since the flight crashed. 11:27 a.m. to be specific. we're talking about what is the holding pattern for the people not hurt. from twitter, david, we've been following him. the samsung executive. samsung based in seoul. he lives in the bay area. he said he is just now leaving sfo.
thank you, everyone, for your support. that is david un on this plane who seven hours after, he is unharmed thankfully but seven hours later, he is now leaving. perhaps that's the timetable of investigators talking and interviewing each passenger. since this happened, sfo has shut down for several hours. planes were being did i have period were arriving all over the west coast from san jose to oakland to sacramento and l.a.x. from san jose international, we bring in nbc bay area's mariaanne favro. >> reporter: it certainly was busy. 25 flights were diverted from sfo here to san jose. so far, 24 of those flights have landed. and the final night is due here at 7:45 tonight. coming from from apart vallarta. even though there were more flights coming in, the diversions did not cause any
delays. extra staff was called in to help. we talked with several passengers who were surprised to learn they were landing in san jose. >> we were told on the way that there was an accident or an incident at the san francisco airport. and the san francisco airport was closed and therefore, we had to be moved to san jose. >> united was kangs he willed out of sfo and southwest was canceled out of san jose. >> most of the diverted passengers boarded shuttle buses headed for hotels in san francisco. one group of students who landed here boarded a bus headed for stanford university. and most of the diverted passengers that i spoke with this afternoon said, they were left in the dark about why they were coming in to san jose. it wasn't until they got off the plane and they looked at social media that they found out the real reason why they had to come
here. reporting live in san jose. nbc bay area news. >> thank you. one more night is still being diverted to san jose international. that will do it for flights that have been diverted. right now the status at sfo is that two runways are open. we heard the spokesman tell as you little while ago that they're working on a limited depart you, limited arrival schedule. and that anyone expecting a flight, if you had a flight out, you're supposed to call ahead to find out if your flight is going to make it or not. >> which is good news considering the magnitude of what has happened. four runways at sfo, two have been reopened. what is remarkable is to listen to the sfo flight tower and to the pilot of this asiana flight 214. here's what we know. there was no call of distress before this crash. so everything seemed to be somewhat normal for the pilot until he, until it all happened.
we know that from the conversations between the flight tower and the pilot. so let's listen in on flight 214. asiana airlines between the tower at sfo and the pilot. >> everybody calling. stand by. hold your position. >> maintain 3,000. >> [ inaudible ]. >> emergency vehicles are responding. >> emergency vehicles are responding. >> okay. >> the airport is closed. >> that's the big takeaway. you hear that clearly from the tower. all runways are closed. emergency vehicles are responding. and the faint voice that you're hearing is that pilot.
and we don't know at this point whether there was a communication trouble between the pilot or the tower but we do know that the tower was very clear. emergency vehicles responding and all runways were closed. that call was right before the crash or right after the crash right there at 11:27 a.m. >> ntsb investigators are going to be looking at that communication, obviously, between pilot and the tower. they'll be at those black boxes. one of the thing that they'll be looking at is what were the weather conditions at 11:27 when that flight was making its descend into san francisco. anthony slaughter is here with what they were dealing with. they were making what was known as a visual landing. looking outside. when we look at the conditions, anthony, it doesn't seal like it was windy at all. what kind of clearance did they have in terms of being able to see? >> you know, conditions were picture perfect for this time of year. we're used to seeing windy conditions and even fog.
today we didn't have any of that. you can see the winds in the past few hours have been very calm. even at 11:00 this morning, 11:27. i went back and looked at data. and you can see our winds only five to 15 miles per hour. a little unusual. usually sfo has wind gusts 20 to 30. even 40 miles an hour is definitely not out of the question. visibility, it was clear. no fog. we've been clear all day long. and after 11:00 this morning, even sfo was reporting just a few clouds overhead. at this point it does not look as though weather played a factor. as the investigation continues to unfold in the next hours and days, it does look as though that weather, of course, will be ruled out as far as playing a factor in this crash. back to you. >> one of the most remarkable moments we've had in our ongoing coverage, we interviewed and spoke with at length to one of the passengers. one of the surviving passengers of the flight. and with great clarity, he describe what happened the moments before that plane crash
handed and the moments after the crash landing. let's listen in. this is the san francisco resident who was traveling alone. his two kids were here in san francisco. his wife also here. he was on a business trip returning from seoul to sfo. this was his account on the plane at seat 32, i believe, on the aisle from benjamin levy. >> just the emotion, it was a bit surreal. a lot of people screaming. not really believing what was happening to them. and i was not believing either. and then i am, i kind of stood up. and i went and opened the door which we didn't have a slide. the slide was gone. a piece of the wing was gone. so we were on the ground. and getting people off and trying to calm them down. people were pushing each other out. and so trying to help as well.
but there was a lot of commotion going on. so thankful that many people got out of the plane quickly. i don't know the number. i understand there are some deaths now. >> benjamin, we're thankful that yes, you got out safe. i will give you an update on some injuries here. two people have passed away unfortunately. there are ten people in critical condition at sf general. and dozens of others at bay area hospitals. if i can once again, if you don't mind, and i know this is probably very difficult for you. if i can ask once again, just that emotion on the plane. was there any smoke inside the plane? >> could you repeat the question? >> was there any smoke inside of the plane, inside the fuselage there? >> yeah. so when we got out, there was some smoke, that's why we tried to get people out as soon as they could. there was no fire yet. the fire came afterwards.
by the time i was in the back of the maybe, a woman came back in the back door of the plane. so the fire crew was alongside pretty quickly. and then tried to bring people to safety. >> benjamin levy who was on the plane. asiana airlines flight 214 from seoul to sfo. was on the plane. kind enough to join us. i don't know if you're near a television but if you're able to turn us on at nbc, see these drama images, photos, and video of the plane crash that you survived. were the passengers helpful in material of evacuating the plane? >> yes. i think all together, a lot of people were speaking korean.
i think everybody was helping and not pushing each other over. >> did you see anyone injured with your own eyes or anyone stuck or perhaps left behind? what kind of injuries did you see? >> i saw a lot of head injuries. the person next to me got hit pretty bad in the head. i don't know how he's doing. he seemed to be okay. probably have some commotion. so people with bruises. the deceleration, i think for my condition as well. >> i know this is probably pretty upsetting for you. we're also joined by my colleague here, steven stock. and i know you have some questions more technically related for benjamin who was on this flight from seoul. >> thank you so much. you are giving great insight on this. i just had a question about when
did you know something was going wrong? is there any indication other than looking out the window and seeing the water fairly close? when did you realize something was going amiss? when you heard something hit? take us through that. >> the landing area from sfo. a few meters before the runway. i could see by the window by my seat that we were very low. and not soon but it was a gradual descend. it feels like the guy missed the runway. when you realize he physically pushed the gas and throttle full speed and tried to correct and go back up again which probably helped us a lot. otherwise we might have hit the rocks first instead of maybe water and then rocks. i can't tell, of course. i was in the maybe. but i can tell you, everything was fine, honestly. everybody was getting ready to get out of the plane and we were
arrived and the weather was fair. it was sunny and nice. no issues. the plane was fine. >> once again we want to thank benjamin levy who was doing that interview with us from sf general. >> he was so calm when he was talking to you. >> he is very calm on the telephone. as a leader there, he was helping people off. we asked him about his injuries. he said i probably have broken ribs but it is okay. i'm more concerned about the women and children who have more severe injuries. we appreciate his insight. we've been talking about this, i would guess the ntsb would be talking with mr. levy as well because of what he can offer to this investigation. steven stock was saying, yes, they'll not only look at all the items on the runway, the field, the flight recorder box and interview the pilot but also interviewing several of the passengers and he would be a great start for the ntsb investigation. >> now, asiana airlines release
ad statement via twitter. it said thank you for your concern at this time. we're currently investigating and we'll update with news as soon as possible. our thoughts and prayers are with the passenger and the flight crew. we hope to provide you with more information asap. we should let you know they did release the manifest telling us that 77 koreans were on board. 141 chinese were on board since the flight originated in china. 61 u.s. people. one japanese person. a bit of back ground information on asiana airlines. it was founded in february of 1988. it is one of south korea's two major airlines along with korean air. asiana has its headquarters in seoul. it operates 14 domestic and 19 international routes throughout asia, europe and gateway cities. by the end of the year, asiana plans to increase its trans pacific routes from 44 to 49 operations per week.
the airline also plans to increase the size of its fleet from 80 to 85. of course, we have no idea at this point what kind of impact this crash might have on those plans. >> now the asiana airlines plane that crashed was a boeing 777ful the twin aircraft is one of the most popular long distance planes. if you're in the aviation field, you know this. you know all about this plane. it is used for flights 12 hours or more. in the bay area, where we are a hub. this is a very common airplane for sfo from one continent to another typically. it is these long flights over water. the 777s can carry up to 300 passengers. and actually, on this we had 307. two 91 passengers, 16 is the crew. almost to capacity. 300 is the capacity. 291 in terms of the passengers here plus the crew. and also, change, of course, based on the number here.
based on the configuration of the plane it can increase or decrease. >> we were hearing it could be up to 400. in this particular model of flight, they were thinking from steven stocks, from what he was able to find out, there were probably 36 rows in this flight. boeing issued a statement on its website saying boeing extends its concern. boeing is preparing to provide technical assistance to the national transportation safety board as it investigates this accident which is protocol for the airlines to send a representative of the aircraft maker to always help with the reconstruction of these means and to if i have insight into how the planes were made. that crash shocking many people in the bay area. especially people who were along 101 in burlingame, along those areas where you can see sfo clearly. that's where a lot of people were today and a lot of people there now rubber necking watching what that. >> thankfully, we're not
experientialed with major plane crashes in the bay area. the last one to crash was a cessna killing three people in 1995. this is all such a shock to so many people at sfo or witnessed it or just now tuning into coverage or online. monte francis has been there in burlingame along the flight path. right behind you. i know it well. with so many people even now arriving this as we speak. >> that's right. as you know, we're here at bay front park located in both burlingame and mill bray. it provides an excellent view of the crash site. that's what many people have come to see. they've come to see the remnants of this 777 here on the runway. this morning there were dozens of people who witnessed the immediate aftermath of this crash. and a handful of people saw the crash happen. here's what they had to say. >> i heard a boom, i paused a second, turned around, looked out and that's when i saw it tumbling. >> reporter: brian was in his hotel room and saw the immediate
aftermath. he took out his cell phone and got this drama video and then posted it to youtube. others south of sfo. >> a couple gentleman walk along. i said did you see what happened? yeah. he said it felt like it was coming in for a landing. the tale hit. and then the start of the cartwheel and shin ever spin a little bit. we saw the smoke coming up. >> many people took photos and videos of the crash. le witnesses told us they saw passengers coming down the emergency chutes before a large amount of smoke and fire consumed the plane. >> i heard two booms. i just thank you it was maybe fireworks. somebody was still shooting or something. and then i just looked out of the window and saw this plane on the ground. and i saw it before the fire started to consume everything. and i saw the chutes come out of one side of the plane. ? we're back here live. psych some planes moving on two
of the runways. because at about 4:15, two opposite runways from whenner this crash happened, they reopened. since then we've seen a number of flights take off and than at sfo. also emergency crews are still here at the crash site. we know the ntsb is en route here to investigate the crash. montie francis, nbc bay area news. >> okay. thank you. >> we are fortunate there have been two deaths in this may not crash but we are fortunate it is not even worse. 49 serious injuries and 149 people being treated. >> we've been telling but the statements you've been hearing from boeing and from the airline itself. let's bring in steven stock. i know the faa has finally weighed in. >> we just got a statement sent to us by faa spokeswoman christy greco out of washington, d.c. and i'm reading, at 11:36 a.m. pacific, asiana airline flight 214, a boeing 777 arriving from
seoul, south korea, crashed while landing on runway 28 l at san francisco international afrlt representatives from the faa and ntsb are investigating and this is critical, the ntsb is the heed investigating agency. i also want to clear up some thing. the 777 has been flying around the world since the 1990s. this particular plane was put into service in 2006. the major configuration usually has about 300 passengers. this plane can carry up to 400 passengers, depending on how it is configured. we believe. we haven't been able to full confirm. there was a first class, of course, fewer seats in first class. a business class. and then the regular flight section. about 36 rows in all. the one gentleman we talk to was
sitting in row 32. there were 291 passengers on board. plus the 16 crew members that were on board when this happened. as for exactly what happened, we've been piecing together data all afternoon. been talking quite frankly to pilots, commercial pilots and just private pilots all afternoon. i'll be honest. i've been followed by people in florida and on the east coast. they've been watching this coverage. pilots have been calling in. in fact, several pilots say all of the, what we've been able to piece together adds up. apparently what happened was that the pilot was coming in a little too high and essentially backed off the power, the airplane coming in too shallow and was going to miss runway 28 l by 1,500 to 2,000 feet. he tried to overcorrect. and tried to gun the engines. raise the nose to get more lift.
to get the airplane back up in the air. he was very, very low at this point and of course, this is backed up by witnesses. at that point when he raised the nose, the tail apparently scraped the rock barrier and the runway causing the plane to bouks up and then bounce again. accepting the tail of the airplane which you can see right there is missing. shattering and going off in all directions. at that point the may not was out of control. a more accurate description would be spinning like a top so that it came to rest there in the dirt on the southwest side of runway 28 l just short of the exit ramp n which takes you the the terminal. >> as we go through this, i thought you said 60 or 90 minutes ago in material of the time line. in no way do we want to speculate on this investigation. but on past investigations, what is generally the time line that
they have in researching and getting answers and then what do they release publicly? >> that's a great question. this go team makes up three to six peel. it can be more or less. as you mentioned, there is already ntsb investigators. the fbi has secured the scene. they're not actually the lead agency themselves just secure it to make sure nothing gets messed with. that there was not a crime. so far they're indicating that it is not. the ntsb will arrive most likely, work all night. they will get those flight data recorders. listen to them, analyze the flight data. that will have the precise altitude and speed that the airplane was at when it crashed. what it was doing when it was landing. they likely from my sources, i know several ntsb in the crash investigators very, very well. they say when we get there and we have evidence like this, we
usually know within 48 hours. they publicly will put out a preliminary report within about 30 days and then we will have an official report in about a year. quite frankly before they put out an official ntsb cause for this accident. they will likely know within the next day and a half what exactly happened. >> some very good insight. thank you.