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At least 2 killed, 130 injured in San Francisco air crash


12:49, July 07, 2013

SAN FRANCISCO, July 6 (Xinhua) -- At least two people were killed and 130 others injured in Saturday's crash landing of an Asiana Airlines Boeing 777 at San Francisco International Airport, said the city's fire chief.

About 60 people aboard the plane, which was flying from Seoul, South Korea, were still unaccounted for, Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White told a press conference.

"At this time there are two fatalities associated with this incident," the fire chief said.

She also said that 48 people on the plane were taken directly to San Francisco area hospitals from the crash scene and another 82 were later transported to hospitals after making their way to the airport terminal.

An FBI agent said at the same news briefing that no indication of terrorism was involved in San Francisco air crash.

Asiana Airlines said in Seoul that the Boeing 777-200 carried 16 crew members and 291 passengers, including 141 Chinese, 77 South Koreans and 61 U.S. citizens.

Diplomats with the Chinese Consulate General confirmed that a teacher and 34 high school students were among the 141 Chinese citizens aboard the plane. But no further information about casualties of the Chinese citizens was available up to now.

All flights in and out of the San Francisco International Airport were canceled temporarily. They were diverted to Los Angeles International Airport.

Witnesses recalled that the plane screeched at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) before coming to a stop. The Boeing 777-200 then veered off the runway and let out thick smoke. It eventually rested at an area between two runways, with its tail and left engine gone, and parts of the upper section of passenger compartment burned out.

Pictures posted on some websites, presumably by passengers, showed people were leaving the plane when it touched down.

Local TV footage also showed that the top of the fuselage of the plane was charred and left open, its tail was also gone, but the two wings appeared intact.

A team of experts with the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will be in San Francisco to investigate the Asiana Flight 214 crash, NTSB Chairwoman Debbie Hersman told a press conference held in Washington D.C. in the same day.

Before leaving for San Francisco, Hersman said that Asiana, the South Korean air carrier, and Boeing, the aircraft maker, will be working together to probe into the incident.

"We will be looking at everything," she told reporters. "Everything is on the table. We have to gather the facts before we reach any conclusions."

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