Soon after the accident specialists said was no indication of the ccrash but Asiana Airlines reported that mechanical failure did not appear to be a factor. The company didn’t blame either the pilot or the San Francisco control tower.
Eric Weiss, a spokesman for the National Transportation Safety Board, said the plane’s “black boxes” – the recorderof the flight data – had been already sent to Washington for analysis.
The Federal Aviation Administration also was investigating and Asiana Airlines said on Sunday that Korean accident investigators were on their way to San Francisco, reports Reuters.
According to the results of the “black box” examination, there were no signs of trouble until seven seconds before the collapse, when the crew tried to accelerate, NTSB Chairwoman Deborah Hersman said at a news conference at the airport.
A stall warning sounded four seconds before the plane met the ground, and the crew tried to abort the landing and initiate what’s known as a “go around” maneuver just 1.5 seconds before crashing, Hersman said.
“Air speed was significantly below the target airspeed,” she said.
Investigators sat it’s too early to speculate on the cause of the accident. Some videos indicated the plane came in too low, then the pilots attempted to gain altitude, and then bounced along the tarmac after the rear of the aircraft hit a seawall at the approach to the runway.
When asked whether the information reviewed by the NTSB showed pilot error in the crash, the company’s chief did not answer directly.
“What I will tell you is that the NTSB conducts very thorough investigations. We will not reach a determination of probable cause in the first few days that we’re on an accident scene,” she told reporters.
The crash took lives of two Chinese students and injured more than 180 people, at least two dozen of them suffered serious injuries, local officials said.
A San Francisco General Hospital spokesperson told reporters that six people were in critical condition on Sunday, including a girl and 13 others were in less serious condition.
Stanford Hospital reported later in the day that three people remained in critical condition and 10 in serious condition there. At least five people were still being treated at other area hospitals on Sunday morning.
The victims suffered spinal fractures, including paralysis, sustained head traumas and abdominal injuries, according to Margaret Knudson, chief of surgery at the hospital.
At least two people suffered “severe road rash suggesting they were dragged,” Knudson added. The injured patients who were able to talk said they were all sitting in the back of the plane, the chief of surgery said.
There were 307 people on board Boeing 777, including 16 crew members. According to the officials, Asiana Airlines Flight 214 crashed just before noon local time.
The Boeing 777 appeared to have touched down tail-first and short of the runway. Witnesses said they saw puffs of smoke, apparently from the main wheels or tail hitting the ground, before the plane was engulfed in flames; some parts of the jet were later found in the San Francisco Bay, which circles the beginning of the runway.
The passengers included 141 Chinese nationals, 77 Korean nationals and 61 U.S. citizens, among others. Asiana said the flight originated from Kansai International Airport in Osaka, Japan, stopped in Seoul and then carried on to San Francisco.