tv ABC 7 News at 5PM ABC July 6, 2013 5:00pm-5:31pm PDT
>> we have live team coverage with several crews berting the latest information. and aimy, you just heard from emergency officials. reporter: that's right. we are scheduled to get another briefing at 5:30. so the information here is continuing to come in, and it is changing. here are the latest numbers we have, that the fire chief into e specified that's are fluid and have been changing and could change again. two people were killed. 130 people were taken to the hospital and as many as 60 people are unaccounted for. the boeing 777 crashed at 11:27 this morning. witnesses describe the tail as
looking like it was coming in too low and hit the rocks at the edge of the runway. late this afternoon was the first time we heard approximately 60 people are unaccounted for. so we asked the fire chief to clarify that number. >> still very active in terms of coordinating all the numbers and so forth. i'm told the information we received from asiana airlines manifesto, 291 passengers, 16 crew. for a total of 307. >> our thoughts and prayers are with all of the passengers and the asiana airlines flight 214 from south korea. >> we're deeply saddened by the incident and our hearts and friends -- are with our friends and families of those affected. reporter: it was a grim press conference as officials came out and announced what they know so far. the chief did tell us the 60 people who are unkent for are not presumed dead.
they have done a thorough sweep hoff the plane but are just trying to get all their numbers organized, and there are 60 people that are considered unkent for. several local agencies responded that we got briefed be the fbi and federal officials tell us there is no indication that terrorism is to blame for this crash. as far as airport operations go, we were told that this airport was shut down immediately after the crash, but has partially been re-opened two runways are now in operation. if you have a flight scheduled for this evening, or overnight, it is certainly worth checking with the airlines. there's a good chance you may be departing tonight. whether it's on time or not, something you need to check with your airline. they're at reduced capacity but are running again. we're expecting to get another briefing at 5:30. we hope to have much more information for you at that time. officials are being very careful what if they release. they're being very thorough, making sure they geld it right.
they admit it's a fluid situation and things change. reporting live, abc7 news. >> john alston talked with witnesses who saw the plane -- john, what are they saying? reporter: the witness accounts we have heard today so far seem to be quite consistent down the line. this area in millbrae, and the peninsula, are often filled with people who stay here to watch planes take off and land. this has been a huge spectacle around the airport today, as ambulances go to and from the airport, and from the crash scene on their way to taking victims to hospitals. this was the scene shortly after the crash. the boeing 777 burned for some time after the hundreds of passengers slid down the chutes to get off. witnesses say they watched the plane as it came in but did not notice anything unusual on the final approach until that boeing jet got near the runway, and then it was clear there was
something wrong. >> the tail was very low. and when it hit, sparks flew. and then -- it -- for some reason or another must have lost control because this wing hit and spun it around, and then there was a big explosion. >> well, i heard two loud bangs, and i immediately turned around. i was here walking on this end. and i looked over and i saw the plane. the fuselage at a very high angle from the ground, facing upward, and it was probably almost 45 degrees, and the tail assembly had now been broken loose. reporter: and that tail ended at the beginning of the runway quite a distance from the remaining fuselage. firefighters had to douse the
shell with fire retardant for quite some time, and there was a plume of smoke you could see over the airport, rather disconcerting plume of smoke of the airport before they finally got the fire out and the people away. shuttle buses carried passengers to the airport there was quite a selection of people who gathered along the waterfront here in millbrae, to whip out their cameras. we were told by one witness who went into the elephant bar at the mariott, he said people here at the bar were watching planes land and saw what happened in horror and he bar erupted in gasps and screams as they saw what happened here at sfo. live in millbrae, abc7 news. >> thanks very much. we mention the crash happened just before 11:30 today, and sergio quintana is on the scene as well for us. it happened on runway 28 left,
right near 101 and the san francisco bay. sergio? reporter: well, it happened at a time at the airport when there were not a whole lot of flights coming in. there are always regularly scheduled flights coming in from all over the world. right now at 5:00 is where a lot of those flights are actually slated to take off, and since the crash, there was a fullground stop here at sfo. in the last hour, hour and a half, they have opened up two runways here at sfo and limit flits are landing, and we heard a plane coming in. inside the terminal, just after the crash, it was actually quiet inside. a lot of people just still trying to get information as to what is going to happen to their flights, how are they going to get out of toe? i -- out osfo? i talked to a young man who was going to be flying on asiaian a na, and then he realized the
plane he was going to be aboard was in flames on the tarmac. >> i got to ask, they do not know anything. they have no power to say anything. so i just use my number to them so they will call me later. confirm how long. i do not know what to do anything. so my luggage, and i cannot make my travel plans. i don't know whether i should book 0 flight, whether to leave or not. so lots of people's lives in jeopardy. reporter: you can see right now here at sfo there are a whole lot of people who are still arriving. they are going inside now and trying to figure out exactly what they're going to do with their travel arrangements. some of those flights have been delayed by about three hours to four hours. i've been having conversation with people inside the terminal who tell me they are being
patient. they understand this is an emergency and some of the travel plans are likely delayed. a lot of flights are international flights so people are kind of prepared for a long wait. reporting live at sfo, i'm sergio quintana, abc7 news. >> here is the latest on what we know at this point on the injured. a total of 130 people taken to local hospitals. >> at least 22 in critical condition. among the hospitals, 27 are at san francisco general, including eight adults two children in critical condition. >> the number is also expecting another wave of patients patieno arrive shortly. ten patients at ucfs, all critical. >> three at davis, seven at st. francis, two st. luke's. >> and nine at stanford medical center and many more patients that have not been officially reported at local hospitals yet. still very much a developing
situation. a short time ago we heard from the public relations officer at mills peninsula medical center where eight people arrived from the crash scene at 1:00 p.m., an hour and a half after the crash. >> have subsequently been admitted to the hospital. the other six remain under evaluation in our emergency department. the injuries sustained are mostly contusions, fractures, and abrasions. all are in stable condition. there are seven adult patients and one adolescent. and we don't have citizenship information but at least some of them are korean-speaking and we do have representatives from the korean consulate on site and v-8 to visit with patients and their families. >> that was a representative of the mills peninsula medical center talking about some of the complications they having with the language barrier. a lot of these folks are from south korea or even from
shanghai. >> all the major hospitals and all the traumatic centers certainly here in the bay area spring into action in a situation like this, and they responded with all hands on deck in order to treat those who were wounded. >> hotel rooms near san francisco international provided people with a clear view of the crash. >> lisa amin gulezian is live in burlingame with that part of the story. reporter: i'm off airport boulevard to my left is san francisco international airport and to me right the embassy suites and a lot of the rooms face the bay and the airport. anthony castro's room is on the eighth floor. he is an aviation enthusiast and likes to watch the pleaps come go. this morning he was on his balcony and saw the flight approach and then crash. he noticed it looked strange. the nose was too high and then it came down. >> the tail definitely partially intact as it came up to the top
of the spin, but you could then see parts of the dispail the tail -- vertical fin fly off like it was slingshot. >> anthony took a lot of photos right after the crash. all of that thick black smoke was after the initial fire ball erupted when the plane landed. and anthony then dialed 9-1-1. back here live now. i want to mention i have seen a lot of activity on the runways. i can see several planes lining up and they're taking off. lisa amin gulezian, abc7 news. >> abc7 news market matthews spoke with a woman who witnessed the crash, and we have heard from so many people who did see the plane come in. >> it's interesting how everybody has a different perspective of what happened. they perceived it differently, and so be prepared for different
variations. mark matthews is at terminal 3 at san francisco international. a lot of people trying to change their flights there. reporter: like the people that amy saw over at the hotel, teresa of sweden was in a hotel, had the window open and looking out when the accident happened. >> just plane just crash, just -- shaking. >> the windows of the hotel room? >> yes, yes. on the seventh floor. we had the windows just so the landing area, yes. >> describe what you saw the plane do. >> well, at first the flight went down and all the people went through them and just big black smoke came, and they rub -- run really fast to try to evacuate the plane.
>> here at terminal 3 there are about a thousand people waiting in line at the united counter to try to get their tickets rebooked. tim and his wife, trying to get home to oklahoma city. >> well, they said some of the narrow bodied flights are going out and the wide-body planes are not going out yet. that's what i got. i don't know. kind of changes from time to time here, but -- >> do you have a boarding pass? >> no, i don't. we have to rebooked. the already cancelled our flight. >> how long you been waiting? >> probably ha 45 minutes or so. >> can you see the end of the line? >> no. >> can you see the end of the line that way? >> no. i think it's going to start zigzagging here soon, though. reporter: behind me you can see people waiting in line for buses that have pulled up here. i just checked the board and half the flights are still cancelled. people loading on to the buses,
getting ready to head out to hotels or some place to spend the night, hopefully to catch a flight tomorrow. >> thanks very much. >> people having lunch at a restaurant overlooking the airport saw the whole thing. >> the plane was coming in a little low. the tail seemed to clip the back of the runway. the tail seemed to fall off, and then the plane came down, hit hard, a hard landing, and then it began to roll, the wing hit, and then it took off and almost like a cartwheel. and then burst into flames. >> wow. well, witnesses tell us they believe that plane was burning for at least 45 minutes, but thankfully most of the people onboard, more than 300 people on board, 16 crew, and the 291
passengers were able to get out. two people did die and 130 people injured. >> remember a few years ago the miracle on he hudson when everybody got off the plane. this is close. when you look at the damage and realize how many people survive, it's really something. >> we want to turn to a guest in the newsroom, u.s. representative eric swalwell. >> your on the science, space and technology committee. tell us what your thoughts are today as you watch this terrible tragedy? >> i fly in and out of that airport twice a week. just went over 100,000 miles two weeks ago. i know that takeoff and that approach very well, and it is a tragedy but, dan, you're right, it really is a miracle more people did not die, and a lot of questions that are out there. i had a lot of questions about whether maintenance was taking place there thatdy did not allow instrument landing systems to be
working properly as has been reported and that's while wii the ntsb will conduct their investigation and we'll learn what was going on in the cockpit and on the ground. >> are you getting any sort of insight on the -- what was going on with the plane, with the pilot and. >> we're not a. we know the go-team from the ntsb aren in oground right now, doing their investigation. why they look at is the black box and be able to determine the important question, which is was the plane on auto pilot or was the pilot using manual controls. and that will tell us what happened in that final 3,000 feet as is approached 28l, that runway there that 11,000-foot runway. >> well, congressman, as a member of the government, you can speak to what the government does so well when it comes to the dispib the national transportation safety board and how they spring into action at times like this is quite
something. >> they're at the ready, and they're ready to go as soon as any aviation crash takes place, anywhere in the united states, and they'll be on the ground within 24 hours. this team is already there and the chairman -- chairwoman spoke today about the investigation and what will take place. i'm also in the transportation subcommittee for homeland security, and it does look like terrorism has been ruled out. the fbi is saying there's nothing to indicate it is terrorism, and that is quite a relief. and, dan, i should note that over the last 12 years since the rockway queens air crash there has not been a major airliner that has crashed with a fatility. air travel has been relatively safe in the united states and a lot of that is because of what the ntsb has been able to do and reverse engineering they conduct to look at what indianapolis -- what happened in air crashes. what they learn helps us make future flights safer.
>> now almost ultra safe, congressman, thanks for coming in. so safe now, something like a two fatilities per 100 million passengers now in modern air travel. so still the absolute safest way to travel. >> normally this time of summer we see a lot of fog in the bay. today was kris school clear -- crystal clear today. >> and leigh glaser has been watching conditions there very closely. leigh, and you were spotting it exactly at the crash time, 11:33. >> leigh: typically this time of year we have very low ceilings and as we all know, when we fly in and out of sfo, some of those planes are diverted you have to change runways, and anytime we have excessive winds there as well, wind warning will be issued for that location. i want to show you the live doppler 7hd. you get a sense that, yes, we
did start off this morning with low ceiling. quite a bit of low cloudiness and fog around the bay area. it's now starting to move back in. but sfo right here -- and that's exactly where we actually saw some clearing. so these are conditions at #k this morning. very dense overcast. here are the runways right here. and during the time of the crash, you can see -- this is 11:28. this is sfo, all of the low clouds clouds and fog had burned off and the conditions at that time, at 11:27, mostly sunny conditions, 64 degrees, light southwesterly wind flow at seven miles-per-hour. the faa does have some wind sensors right here, right near the actual bay, right close to the front of those runways, and we're not privy to that information but you better believe they will be looking at those wind speeds as that wind
was pulling up from the southwest right over the open water. but suffice to say that typically this time of year we have such a low ceiling. today not the case. at 11:27, with mostly sunny, 64, and a light wind out of the southwest. we'll take a detailed look at the seven-day forecast in a bit. >> the passengers who were not injured were taken to a guarded room at sfo for safekeeping. >> and we have been monitoring that all afternoon. have you talked to anybody yet? reporter: yes, several people, cheryl. this is the reflection room here. you can see the police officer in front of it making sure that nobody not associated with the crash gets inside. it is under tight guard but at one point a teenage boy came out
and wanted to tell his story. he started to but didn't say much before he was pulled away. take a listen. >> the plane came down and then -- i'm not sure, and then it hit the ground, and then -- yeah. >> what happened? [inaudible] >> i was sitting -- >> were you on the plane? >> yes. >> can you tell us what happened? >> you can see the police officer pull him away. i wasn't able to get him name. the salvation army helping with translatorsment one transhattor tells me there are 40 family members of passengers inside. she says they're scared and waiting to find their loved ones
at the different hospitals. they don't know which hospital their loved one was taken to but earlier there were also passengers inside, and the salvation army had to provide them with the most basic of things. >> some family are really freezing. they were so scared so we are provide something blankets. and then some of them they lost shoes so we went to get theshoee shoes. some of them have one side of shoes, and some of them don't have shoes. reporter: you can just imagine how they must have been so terrified. lucky to not be hurt but no shoes. a man who is here, his friend and his friend's young daughter were on the flight. he is here to pick them up. he says they're both fine but
from here he's going to take them to wal-mart to pick up a few things. of course they have nothing after the plane crash. live at sfo, abc7 news. >> thank you very much. >> just a reminder, the reason there's is a delay is because the cell phones -- the information got out there. >> soon after the crash president obama was made aware, of course, of what happened in a statement the president expressed his gratitude for the first responsibler ands directed his team to stay in constant contact with federal, state, and local partners as they investigate and respond to this events. >> thoughts and prayers go out to the families who lost a loved one. the president will continue to be updated. >> abc7 news morning anchor eric thomas is here and not here because he is morning anchor. he is both professionally and personally, a real airline expert and buff. you have been watching this closely. >> i have. a lot of fascinating and
interesting and frightening detail. one, the attitude of the plane. we heard the tail may have struck, and the airline spinning around. some people called that cartwheeling. we also saw fascinating emergency response from the people onboard. getting folks off the aircraft. the firefighters responding very quickly. there have been at least 17 air accidents near sfo with the flight safety foundation which records aviation statistics them worst accident claimed the lives of 11 people when the united airlines dc3 from burbank crashed into san francisco bay where the copilot dropped his microphone and jammed the controls. a hijacking in 1972 led to the death of two hijackers and a passenger. the hijackers wanted to be taken to the then soviet union, and a pacific southwest airline had 82 people on board and two cargo planes, and three people died in
a private jet, which is a very bizarre case. the plane took off, then came down and crashed. a crash in the late '50s of a plane that originated in australia. it was off course and slammed into the san bruno hills, killing 40 people. still the worst plane crash in sfo history. >> eric, as we saw the debris from the plane hitting that sea wall, the tail section, we're told that's where two people died. that affects the stability of the plane and ability to steer it. >> probably went out of control at that point. and the pilots were just along for the ride. it is a testament to the durability of the aircraft, the air frame stayed together. yes, there was fire, but at that point didn't burn out the entire fuselage. it burned the roof, maybe half to two-thirds of the roof, allowing time to get the
pawnings off the airplane and that is so crucially important. >> that didn't explode and go up instantly. something you said was very interesting. if a plane, for example, came in as some witnesses describe, and here's the sea wall and here's the runway, and for whatever reason the attitude was ongoing they hit, two people killed at the tail section, and then someone -- one of the witnesses described it at this point kind of tilting this way and then slamming into the ground. >> yeah. >> the cartwheeling -- >> we don't know if that means this or this. and we don't. and the physics of this, is anybody's guess when it hits. this is a model of the 777, a long-range airliner that boeing makes and is used by a lot of major airlines on transcontinental flights. if you see a plane coming in on landing and it's nose high you know there's a problem. you shouldn't be seeing this. then when they do come in, they
get over the runway, over the marker, and flare a little bit like this, a gentle upward angle of the nose in order to bring the middle of the runaway, and then cult the power and gently sets down on the main gear. >> almost horizontal to the ground before the flare. >> before the flare. slightly nose-up. depends on the aircraft. each one is a little different. but, yeah, it's going to take a lot of investigation to figure out exactly what happened, but we know that this part of the aircraft broke off, tail cone. we saw the rudder on the runway, and you can see the landing gear where it just sheered off. so that fuselage is resting on the runway. this has to be the most frightening situation as a passenger you can possibly be in. not knowing what is happening at all. >> we know, we have heard it all day, this plane is one of the
safest planes around. >> the 777 has a great safety record. i've been on numerous 777 flights, i'm sure you have been as well. >> very comfortable. >> taste transpacific, europe. there has not -- unlike the 787 which boeing also makes there haven't been any growing pains like that with this aircraft. they make several different versions. i think this was the 200er, extended range so makes long flights as far as australia. >> but flying at a high altitude from seoul. >> i looked at the flight plan. they wrote 377,000 feet was the planned altitude for most of the flight, and that changes or can change based on a number of factors, such as turbulence. if you think the air may be quieter down two thousand or up five thousand, might go there. >> but this is speculative, but otherwise i.c.e. -- ice kris
schools -- crystals? >> what happened on that flight was going into london's heath throw, and as it came in, they wanted to add some power so they added power or they moved the throttles forward but there were ice crystals in the fuel line so the fuel never reached the engines for the increase in thrust and the plane slammed on to the runway. >> eric, we want to keep you here because we have a lot more to talk about. some of the initial clues we're learning about, getting what happened from the air traffic control towerrers with controllers and the pilots. >> listen to what happened here. >> asiana 214 heavy. everyone on their way. >> okay. >> kind of hard to make that out, eric. that's a lot of chatter. >> yep. a lot of chatter.
basically they were saying rescue crews will be rolling your way immediately. >> we heard that from the air traffic controllers or the ground controllers. pie lot and air traffic controllers around the world, english is the standard language but easier to understand, and not to seizey, do -- not so eas, and the rapid-fire communications. we did make out clear live that they were letting the pilots know that the emergency crews are on the way. so, do what you have to do and they'll be there shortly. >> we talked about how remarkably safe -- there's the sea wall the tail hit. how mark -- remarkably safe air travel has become and we don't think about these disasters. the emergency crews do. but something you said a minute ago stuck out. at sfo particularly the most recent serious accident was in 1987, 11 people killed, and one