tv NBC Bay Area News at 11AM NBC July 8, 2013 11:00am-11:31am PDT
picked up and started bringing them towards the paramedics there. i'll probably forget things because a lot of things are hazy. and then when i turned around, got away from the plane safely, i turned around and saw -- >> right now you are listening live to the true heroes of crash flight 214 at sfo. you are hearing from the first responders, both from san francisco fire and also the san francisco police department. this news conference started at sfo just about an hour ago with san francisco fire chief joanne hayes-white taking the podium first. she said right off the bat that she was so proud of all of the first responders really calling it a joint effort between san francisco fire, police, and crews from san mateo county. we are going to continue to listen in. >> i just started grabbing
pieces of luggage, whatever i could do to get myself inside there and then lieutenant katano -- i can't pronounce his name right now. it's too hard. he came behind me and i started passing him luggage. we wanted to pass the luggage out so we could get the fire crew out there. at that time it was pretty safe. there was smoke in the air. the fire crew was doing a good job suppressing the heat. so i went inside there and a lot of people had injuries and couldn't move out of their seats. they were also just scared to move. i was with the fire crew and follow off with them what to do, trying to get back towards them in there. we started -- i started coughing and the lieutenant, she started coughing, too. she started taking off her spider pack because it was
pretty safe and started filling up with smoke and then we look up and we're just about ready to go out and black pillow of smoke came rushing towards us. and then our next goal was to try to get people away from the plane and trying to get people away from plane. at the ground there was all dry grass and one spark of anybody lying on the ground, people get burned up. we ran back and forth and got backboards for people who couldn't move, brought them up to the site. i did stuff -- i can't remember what i did now. just ran back and forth trying to help the most serious people first. there were older people and people were scared because maybe they didn't speak english. they were tourists from other countries. we tried to bring them out to a safe area and -- what else?
i guess we just did our job the rest of the day like we're supposed to do and somebody asked about the iphone, too, why i picked them up. one was on the ground. i looked at it. there was a mother and daughter's picture on the cover when you clicked on it and i looked at it and said somebody is going to want this. i threw it in my back pocket and later on in the day we're doing sweeps for anybody else who survived. it must have been iphone day for me. i clicked it on and find the owner. it looked like it belonged to one of the flight attendants. i threw it in my back pocket and this is important for someone to get ahold of. it might be the last memories that they have of somebody. and then i brought it over to asiana airlines to give it back to them. there's a lot of people that helped out. it's hard to remember because everybody was there helping and you focus on things and everybody did a great job.
fire department did a great job. the fire police and my fellow officers, our command staff did a great job organizing everything. the medics, the ucsf was right there. i hope i didn't scare the girl, i looked at her and she looked in shock at me to stop her car. i don't know what else to say. >> what was also amazing is i went to officer cunningham, are the airplanes clear, do you think we got them all out? he goes, i think so. hold on. and he goes running back in. and i go, great. so he's running back in and i'm looking for him -- >> for more than an hour now we've been listening in to a news conference. we are hearing from the first responders. really, the true heroes of the crash flight 214 to hear their stories of heroism as they've made their way into that plane
that was on fire, just unbelievable stories coming in out of the san francisco police department and also the san francisco fire department. >> you can just tell that they are not used to speaking to the media but you can tell that instinct takes over. they couldn't even completely recall what was happening. they talk about each other, we mentioned the two together, teamwork, how proud they were of each other. good morning, everybody. thank you very much for joining us. even jon kelley. >> and i'm marla tellez. as we wait for the ntsb, we're getting a better idea of what the scene was like moments after the crash. nbc bay area's christie smith is here with more reaction from the first responders. we will hear from her at the news conference. we will hear from her in just a moment. right now we want to turn things over to our aviation expert from our investigative unit, steven stock. >> steven, like us you've been
listening to us from the first responders. what are your immediate takeaways as you listen to what they have to say? >> john, we use the word heroic in the media a lot but i don't think that's overselling it in this case. some of the things that immediately struck me was how selfless these first responders were, the fact that some of them ran up the exit chute. now, that's hard to do. sometimes these are -- this is literally eight to ten to 12 feet just to get into the airplane. this is an airplane that is smoking and catching on fire but they ran up that. that jim cunningham went in the airplane, the fuselage, without any protective gear at all. these are selfless, heroic acts and it was quite impressive. i was also impressed or found remarkable that usually these folks train where they know coming into it that there's some problem. usually the pilots will say, hey, our landing gear isn't down, we noticed some lights on,
on -- in the cockpit and they give a warning to first responders who were located at these major airports. so the firefighters and the rescue know something is going to happen. there was no warning here. in fact, the first warning or indication there was anything wrong was seven seconds before impact. we were talking about that this morning. think how quick that is. i mean, literally that long. and the plane is hitting and you have this disaster unfolding in front of you. so i found that remarkable. i also found remarkable that some of the first responders were handing knives up into the fuselage so that passengers could cut away their seat belts. i think that shows that everything was working the way it should have been working. one other thing, our colleague at nbc news, tom costello and bob hager, an aviation expert and i have talked many times and tom just did a story about more and more of these crashes are
survivable. and so i think when you fly, it's very safe and it happens very rarely. in fact, the last time a commercial aviation accident killed people here in america was 2009. but i think it bears in mind, when you are in this situation, do what the flight attendants and pilots tell you to do, strap in, don't take your luggage when the accident happens. because that got in the way of the first responders and i just found that remarkable, that some people even in all of this wanted to take their luggage with them and that could have caused some lives. >> what i found was so telling is that the fire chief said, even with all this training -- he's been doing this for decades, he never expected to have to respond to a deadly plane crash. never expected to do this in his career and in fact that's what he was faced with and he was so proud of everyone involved. >> terrific point. they train for this on a yearly basis. they are some of the best in the business. and as he put it, we train for
something like this but, quote, you don't really train for something like this. what they did was instinct and, of course, very professional and heroic. there's no other word for it. >> absolutely. steven stock, thanks so much. >> impressive. over 300 people on that plane. only two died. terrible to have any fatalities but when you consider the numbers, that's mind blowing. we're getting a better idea and better sense of what that scene was like moments after the crash. >> christie smith is live at sfo. >> reporter: good morning to you. we're et getting a much clearer look at what happened. one firefighter saying that his only way in, the only way in to the plane was up the emergency chute that had deployed from asiana flight 214, which was completing a trip from seoul with 317 people on board that
killed two teenage passengers and injured a dozen more. now, at 11:27, the boeing 777 bounce and skidded on the ground. one knew right away from the dispatcher's voice, alert 3, plane crash, plane crash, that this was real. they got to the plane within three minute, first seeing smoke. they sprayed foam on it. many of the passengers already out. when they got to the rear of the plane, they immediately saw passengers, some trapped and a very much deteriorating situation. >> firefighters from san francisco along with members of the san francisco international airport were doing something that many might think that is beyond expectation that they would enter a plane involved with fire. and in the wings of the plane is jet fuel. >> reporter: now, they released the names of at least 16 police
officers and they mentioned por n more than 100 officers. they discussed reports that one of the 16-year-old teens that was killed found outside the plane may have been hit by a first responder's rig. they said that they notified immediately those in charge, ran it up the chain of command. it became part of the formal investigation but surreal. those were the words that we kept hearing over and over again. reporting live at sfo, christie smith, nbc news. within 30 minutes, we're expected to liearn more about te investigation. the ntsb will release more findings. >> we will bring that around to you when it does happen. right now, bob redell is live. >> reporter: yes.
some of the most interesting information is about the pilot's flying experience with regard to the boeing 777. this pilot only had 43 flying hours, which is equivalent to three transatlantic flights. he also had time in a simulator and had landed at this airport before, just not in a 777. saturday morning was the pilot's first time landing a boeing 777 at sfo. his ninth time anywhere in that particular model of aircraft. asiana airlines says he was in training with an experienced co-pilot at his side who had more than 3,000 hours flying 777. after examining the cockpit voice and flight data recorders, the ntsb has determined that flight 214 was coming in too low and slow in final approach, well below 137 knots, the minimum speed required for a safe landing. the pilot realized this seven
seconds before impact. three seconds later the flight stick alerts them that they are about to stall. a second and a half before the stall, they try to abort the landing and go back up into the air. >> does it sound more like pilot air? >> we look at not just flight time in this aircraft type but overall experience and we look at the crew and the crew working together, making sure that we have a good crew pairing, people who have experience. it's always going to be someone's first time to fly in an airplane or first time to land at an airport. we want to make sure that the system is robust enough so it can be done safely, not just the first time but every time. >> reporter: even though this pilot only had 43 hours in a 777, he did 97 hours of experience flying in airbus 320 boeing 737 and a boeing 747, which he had, again, landed here at sfo, just never in the 777.
federal law enforcement did talk to the pilot just after saturday morning's crash. they determined there was no criminal conduct. the ntsb, though, still wants to talk to these pilots to help them figure out what went wrong as part of their investigation into the safety and what happened here at this airplane crashing flight 214 at sfo. reporting live here in burlingame, bob redell, nbc bay area news. >> bob, thank you very much. just a reminder here, we'll be bringing you the ntsb news conference live here scheduled to start at approximately at 11: 11:30. still to come, expansion of the bay area bridge. will it reopen in time for labor day. the clouds have cleared but there is one of those lanes out of commission as we head throughout the day today temperatures are going to be warm but the good news is we're
♪ we are still awaiting the official word of cause of death for the two 16-year-olds that were killed in the plane crash. the ntsb will release the findings later today after it speaks to the parents of ye mengyuan and wang linjia. the parents, as well as the parents of some of the injuried teens are headed right now for the u.s. early this morning they boarded a bus in southeastern china headed to the shanghai airport from shanghai they had a layover in seoul, south korea, before getting on another plane to san francisco. chinese media reports that once they land they will go directly to the hospital to see the teens being treated. meantime, some of those passengers from asiana airline
flights 214 returning home to seoul, south korea. 11 of the 77 koreans on board the plane flew back this morning. some of them showing signs of injuries. you can see here one of those young woman wheeled to a waiting ambulance. also, a candlelight vigil being held in the hometown of the two chinese teenagers who died in that crash. mourners, mainly school-age children lighting candles and then placing them out there on the ground in the shape of a heart. we'll have updates on this investigation throughout the day and online. that's our website at nbcbayarea.com. you'll find more information about the flight boxes and animation that shows what the moment of impact looked like. that's also at nbcbayarea.com. we've just learned that the opening of the bay bridge has been delayed to december 10th.
they've extended that quite a bit. no estimated opening date, however an official one. a committee overseeing construction is briefing lawmakers on their status. the new span, as we've all been reporting first, crews still fixing 32 broken steel rods that attach the bridge deck to the supports. they are also still gathering test data on the other rods to make sure no other ones will end up snapping. right now we want to change gear and take a look at the forecast. christina loren, we are in for another warm dlds uup? >> we are going to cool you down, as usual. taking a live look, crystal clear start to the day over san jose. we had really thick fog in san francisco. it, too, has cleared. i can report at this point that none of the fog is forcing these flight delays. it just says aircraft delay.
they have serious thunderstorms in the northeast. trying to get over in that direction of the nation, make sure you check ahead. it's going to be a rough day for travel all across the board. high pressure is moving in quickly but it's really distinguishing all of those bay area microclimates. 70s and 80s around the bay and plenty of 60s and 70s right at the immediate coast. speaking of which, this is something that is really cool. it's never happened since i've been in the bay area. coast guard issued a warning, mariners, please slow down for whales. we're talking about a very impressive concentration of humpback whales and i can tell you that the word on the street is that crill is abundant and delicious. we'll get to pictures of that for you. 94 degrees in livermore. i haven't had the krill myself
but word is, it's delicious if you're a whale. 60 degrees at at&t park. the team needs your support. proud to be the home of the giants and of a cool-down. how about you? >> christina has been talking to the whales. >> that's right. thank you very much. still to come, more on the asiana aircraft coming up after this break.
it was simply a heartbreaking day at a southern california christian camp where both of those young girls killed in the asiana aircraft at sfo were planning to attend. the teen girls were among the 35 teenagers aboard that flight scheduled to attend the west valley christian church today. the remaining exchange students have all decided to return home. the host families here out here
on the west coast, church family members and others from that community still just reeling from all of the shock in this tragic turn of events. >> they are struggling because they have names of the kids that they are staying at their homes and they realize that child is not going to make it and one of those is the one that was going to have the girl in her house and is definitely grieving. >> leaders of the 800 church=,m have scheduled a prayer vigil set for thursday night. church members have also launched a fundraising drive in hopes of replacing the student's luggage and clothing destroyed in that deadly crash. this morning, a scott's valley man is lucky to be at work. he's one of the survivors. elliott stone, the owner of elite martial arts academy was greeted by this welcome home sign from students who wrote, we are so glad you are back with us. but no one is happier than stone because the seven other people he is traveling with are all
okay. he is still in shock as he remembers what happened on board his flight. >> the back end just hit and flies up in the air and everybody's head goes up to the ceiling and it kind of drifts for a little bit, probably a good 300 yards and then tips over, fire starts, everybody is pushing the doors out. >> well, they can't say it enough. stone is so happy to be home. >> can't even wrap your mind around what it would be like to be on that flight. it's amazing. a lot of people walking away. we'll be right back after this break.
right now we're getting ready and waiting on a news conference that's set to begin at any moment right now. >> we want to give you a live look at sfo. we're hoping to learn more information about what caused asiana flight 214 to crash at sfo on saturday. you can see all of the media in there waiting for someone to take the podium from the ntsb. initial flight recordings showed the plane was flying too low and too slow upon approach to the runway. investigators are seeing if the pilot's inexperience with this particular boeing 777 and sfo may have played a role. they are supposed to talk to the crew in the next 24 hours. the ntsb says it's not ruling out anything at this point. as soon as this press conference begins at the holiday inn near sfo, we will break into programming and bring that to you live. stay with us.
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