The U.S. NTSB is investigating the cause of this morning’s crash landing of an Asiana Airlines Boeing 777-200ER at San Francisco International airport. The aircraft, carrying 291 passengers and 16 crew, was operating flight 214 from Seoul to San Francisco and landed short of the threshold of runway 28L at 11.27 am local time. The aircraft hit the low seawall which separates the airport from the waters of San Francisco Bay. Images of the debris field indicate the aircraft made initial impact to the right of the centerline, losing its tail section and parts of the landing gear before sliding down the runway until slewing off into the grass to the south of the normal touchdown area.
Images of the wreck show the left engine dislodged from its mounting and most of the trailing edge and the outboard section of the leading edges on the left wing missing. The right engine is visible lying alongside the fuselage forward of the wing root, while the right wing tip section also shows severe damage. The fuselage is buckled forward of the wing-body join.
Although the aircraft was subsequently gutted by a fire which emanated from the starboard side of the fuselage, most of the passengers and crew evacuated successfully using escape slides from doors L1 and L2. Latest reports indicate that some passengers are still unaccounted for and at least 10 passengers were critically injured in the accident.
San Francisco was closed for several hours after the crash landing but the airport resumed operations later in the afternoon when the two cross runways were re-opened. Click here to listen to SFO tower audio and click here for a video of the crash scene.