A Boeing 777 airliner arriving from South Korea on Saturday skidded off the runway at San Francisco International Airport and caught fire, The Washington Post’s Ashley Halsey III reports.
There were no immediate reports of casualties as fire crews sprayed foam on the white-and-red jet, which had been scorched by flames from its cockpit area to behind its wings.
The National Transportation Safety Board said the Asiana Airlines plane was arriving from Seoul on a clear day with unlimited visibility and light winds. The plane’s tail snapped off on contact with the ground, suggesting that the pilot may have approached the runway with the jet’s nose higher in the air than normal.
Witnesses described the tail striking first and then said the plane braked suddenly and spun around. Pilots refer to a botched landing of this type as “coming down heavy.”
Initial reports from Twitter offered real-time photos and accounts. David Eun, a Samsung executive who said he was on the flight, tweeted one of the most dramatic early pictures of the plane on the runway:
He followed up with this account:
It turns out that Eun was not the only tech executive who had a link to the Asiana flight.
Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer, posted on her Facebook page that she and three colleagues were slated to be on the same flight but changed plans at the last minute.