SAN FRANCISCO, California – An Asiana Airlines Boeing 777 aircraft crash landed at San Francisco International Airport on Saturday, U.S. aviation authorities said, with images showing the cabin of the plane almost completely burned out.
An official said that at least two passengers are confirmed dead.
Ten passengers are in critical condition, one of the city’s hospitals said.
“SFGH treating 10 victims of Asiana Airline accident. 6 female, 4 male. 8 are adults and 2 children. Adults range 20-40yrs. All critical,” San Francisco General Hospital said on Twitter.
One apparent survivor tweeted a picture of passengers fleeing the plane. Video footage showed the jet, Flight 214 from Seoul, South Korea, on its belly surrounded by firefighters.
The airport has been closed until further notice, U.S. Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Lynn Lunsfor told AFP, after confirming the crash landing.
California Highway Police also temporarily closed all roads near the facility – a major international hub, especially for flights to and from Asia.
Local media reported there were about 290 people aboard, and multiple witnesses said the plane had approached the runway at an awkward angle, with some onlookers saying they heard a loud bang.
One dramatic photo tweeted earlier by someone claiming to be a survivor showed people streaming out of the jet, which was missing its tail. An inflatable slide was at the front entrance and at least part of the aircraft’s landing gear was separated from the fuselage.
“I just crash landed at SFO. Tail ripped off. Most everyone seems fine. I’m ok,” the survivor, David Eun, wrote.
But another photo from above showed a more distressing scene, with almost the entire roof of the plane and the cabin seating area destroyed by fire. The aircraft’s wings were still attached and other emergency exits also appeared to have been used.
Emergency crews were reporting passengers in need of burn treatment, according to Redwood City Fire Department.
The accident site was covered in white foam used by firefighters, with at least six fire trucks at the scene. However, there was little indication of whether passengers had been killed in the incident or taken away by emergency staff.
Asiana Airlines is based in Seoul. Its website says its Boeing 777 can carry between 246 to 300 passengers. The twin-engine aircraft is one of the world’s most popular long-distance planes, often used for flights of 12 hours or more, from one continent to another.
Updated at 4:42 p.m. Costa Rica time.