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At Least Two Dead As Korean Passenger Jet Crash-Lands In San Francisco


The South Korean Asiana Airlines Boeing 777 crash-landed at San Francisco International Airport on July 6.
At least two people have been killed and scores others injured when a Boeing 777 passenger plane crash-landed and burst into flames at San Francisco International Airport.

The South Korean Asiana Airlines plane, which had flown from Seoul, had 291 passengers and 16 crew members on board.

Edwin Lee, mayor of San Francisco, speaking at a news conference late on July 6, said the passengers included 77 Korean, 141 Chinese, and 61 U.S. citizens.

Dozens of people walked away from the wreckage, but Lee said around 50 people were taken to hospitals in serious condition, and scores of others had lesser injuries.

The two fatalities were Chinese citizens.

"I would like to say at this time with the help of so many people we have accounted all 307 passengers and crew," Lee said. "Everybody has been accounted for. Having said that, we have two fatalities and quite a number of passengers that are still in critical condition."

The crash left most of the top of the plane's fuselage burnt away and its tail section broken off.

Aviation industry consultant Robert Herbst told the Bay Area News Group that the plane came in too low, its tail hit the sea wall, and the plane landed short of the runway.

The FBI ruled out terrorism.

The National Transportation Safety Board has begun an investigation into the cause of the crash.

Yoon Young-doo, CEO of Asiana Airlines, South Korea's second-largest air carrier, at a news conference in Seoul on July 7 ruled out the possibility that the plane had crashed due to engine or mechanical failure.

"We bought this plane in March 2006. It has PW4090 engines," Yoon said. "For now, we acknowledge that there were no problems caused by the [Boeing] 777-200 plane or [its] engines."

Yoon apologized for the crash, which caused air traffic to be halted for hours at San Francisco airport, one of the nation's busiest. Incoming flights were redirected to nearby facilities.

Based on reports from Reuters, AFP, AP, and dpa