Emergency calls from people aboard a plane that crashed at San Francisco International Airport portray a scene of chaos, with passengers begging for help and saying ambulances weren’t coming fast enough.
The California Highway Patrol released the 911 calls late Wednesday.
One caller tells a 911 dispatcher: “There are no ambulances here. We have been on the ground 20 minutes.”
Another tells a dispatcher there’s a woman on the runway with severe burns to her head. The caller says, “She will probably die soon if we don’t get help.”
Asiana Airlines Flight 214 came to a tragic end when the airliner, which came in too low and too slow, crash-landed on Saturday, killing two passengers and injuring many others as it skittered and spun 100 feet.
San Francisco officials say ambulances could not come too close out of concern that the plane would explode.
Also regarding the crash-landing, it has been learned that as Flight 214 descended over San Francisco Bay, both pilots were trying something new.
In the left seat of the cockpit sat Lee Gang-kuk, a 46-year-old pilot with 35 hours of experience flying a Boeing 777 who was landing the big jet for his first time at San Francisco International Airport. At his right was Lee Jeong-Min, a trainer making his first trip as an instructor pilot.
While the two men had years of aviation experience, this mission involved unfamiliar duties, and it was the first time they had flown together.
Investigators trying to piece together what went wrong are looking at the pairing of the pilots, who were assigned to work together through a tightly regulated system developed after several deadly crashes in the 1980s were blamed in part on inexperience in the cockpit.
They will also be examining their working relationship, said National Transportation Safety Board chairman Deborah Hersman on Wednesday.