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Two killed in US plane crash, 3 Indians among 305 lucky survivors

Last Updated: Sunday, July 7, 2013 - 22:38

San Francisco/Washington: Three Indians were among 305 passengers who miraculously survived when an Asiana Airlines flight crashed, broke into pieces and caught fire while landing at San Francisco airport, killing two Chinese students and leaving 49 others seriously injured.

Flight OZ214 had 307 people on board -- 291 passengers and 16 crew -- when it left Seoul, capital of South Korea. The Boeing 777-200 long-range aircraft apparently struck a rocky area at the water`s edge short of the runway at the airport yesterday, a major hub for flights to and from Asia.

A total of 305 passengers on the flight, however, miraculously escaped from the burned-out wreckage, using evacuation slides.

Asiana, second in size to national carrier Korean Air, has confirmed two female Chinese teenagers have died.

Yoon Young-doo, the president of Asiana Airlines, said the two passengers were in their teens and were believed to have been seated toward the back of the plane.

According to reports, two Chinese students, Ye Mengyuan and Wang Linjia, from east China`s Zhejiang Province died in the crash.

Based on information obtained from their boarding passes, two female middle school students from Jiangshan City, died in the accident, a reply from Asiana Airlines` head office in China to the Jiangshan municipal government said.

But the identities of the dead have not been confirmed by DNA tests yet, the report said.
San Francisco fire chief Joanne Hayes-White said 182 people were injured and 123 were unhurt.

"When we had arrived on scene the chutes had already been deployed, and we observed multiple numbers of people coming down the chutes and walking to their safety, which was a good thing," she said.

At least five people were listed in critical condition at hospitals, including at San Francisco General Hospital, the region`s main trauma centre.

Three Indians were also on board the ill-fated flight of Asiana Airlines from Seoul to San Francisco.

Indian Ambassador to South Korea Vishnu Prakash said that there were three Indian passengers on board the plane and one of them suffered collar bone fracture.

"ASIANA mishap at SFO: 3 Indians on board too. 1 suffered collar bone fracture & other minor injuries. Wish ASIANA gives out complete info," he wrote on micro blogging site Twitter.

Vedpal Singh, who was sitting in the middle of the aircraft and survived the crash with his family, said there was no forewarning from the pilot or any crew members before the plane touched down hard and he heard a loud sound.

"It`s miraculous we survived," Singh, who suffered a fractured collarbone and had his arm was in a sling, was quoted as saying by the US media.

Meanwhile, both flight data recorders of the crashed 777 aircraft have been recovered, the National Transportation Safety Board said.


First Published: Sunday, July 7, 2013 - 09:42

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