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tv   Sanjay Gupta MD  CNN  July 6, 2013 1:30pm-2:01pm PDT

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the debris field and once it hit down. >> next to the survivors, this tells the story, this video that you're seeing there, i think that tells the whole story. >> incredible. don lemon, back to you. >> thank you very, very much. >> this is cnn breaking news. >> it is the bottom of the hour. i'm don lemon live here in new york and i want to welcome our viewers here in the united states and around the world watching cnn international and other networks. we are following breaking news here on cnn. here's the information that we have for you -- just a short time ago at the san francisco international airport a large commercial airliner crashed and burned just a short time ago. it is a passenger plane, a boeing 777 from asiana airlines, which is a large south korean airline. we have live pictures as well as pictures from passengers who were fleeing that plane. the one you just saw was a passenger.
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this one is live picture. this is a live picture. you can see the tail section of this plane is gone. you can see the top of the fuselage is burned. the wings are mostly intact. parts of them, though, have fallen off. parts of the plane fell off when this crash landing happened there. there you can see it spread across the runway there. what appears to be landing gear on the runway. you're looking at those pictures. the stairs were deployed. the slides were deployed for people to get off of this plane very quickly. we don't know exactly how many people were on board the plane. the extent of any injuries, if any at all. the extent of injuries, if any at all. and we want to see one of the first videos we got in to cnn right after this crash, let's take a look. this is a video that came off of youtube shortly after this crash. apparently from someone inside of the airport. you can see the plane burning
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there. and according to witnesses, the plane made a crash landing. they also said they saw the plane spin around like a top. important to clarify. not a flip in the air, but spun around like a top. i want to get to cnn's richard quest now. richard, this airplane is located -- i mean, this airport is located about 12 miles from san francisco, downtown san francisco proper. one of the 30 busiest airport -- airports worldwide. 37 million people flying through this airport. obviously a very proficient airport, and for this to happen on a saturday afternoon obviously tragic. we don't know exactly what went wrong here, but obviously something did. >> oh, absolutely. and what we can say, of course, is san francisco, like l.a.x., they are the major asian pacific gateways for the united states. looking at the pictures now, hearing what jim tillmon said,
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hearing what the other eyewitness has said about how this plane spun round after the tail hit the ground, we can start to -- we won't -- we will not -- let me -- let's be absolutely blunt and clear. we will not know why this tail hit the end of the runway at the early stage that it did for many weeks, if not months, until the ntsb produces its first interim and then final report. but clearly what we can now see, of course, is the crownolohrono events as stated by eyewitnesss. you've got to go back quite some time before you see, of course, previous incidents in the united states. the continental airline incident which happened in 2009 and 49 people died in that incident. but you're talking about major passenger jets, large scale, 200, 300-seat passenger jets,
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you really are going back through until town until you actually see -- you go back to november of 2001 where you have the american airlines incident where 260 people died in that. so, the size of this sort of aircraft having a fatality or emergencies of this manner is very rare. and that's why the investigators will want to know exactly what was happening on that aircraft at the moment of touchdown. and also one other thing, don, they'll want to know, because it's not just enough to know why or how this crash happened. they'll want to know about the evacuation procedures -- >> right. >> -- the safety procedures that could be improved in the future. look at the pictures. the pictures show that the roof of the fuselage is burned out from the back of the cockpit pretty much to the aft of the wings. but the rear of the aircraft is untouched. so, they're going to want to know about all the dynamics of a
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fire that took place, what happened in that fire which could have, of course, impeded passengers from leaving the aircraft and that will be part of the final investigation. not only why or what the pilots or whatever happened in the cockpit in terms of the landing itself. >> and, richard, looking at this particular plane, it hasn't spun around yet, but i am able to see only if you're looking, if you're sitting on the plane looking forward as you would flying -- >> yep. >> -- i only see the engine on the right wing -- >> the left engine has disengaged from the aircraft. the tail, all the rear has disengaged from the aircraft. you can see the rear pressure wi bulkhead, that's the green bit at the back of the aircraft. we have slides primarily on the right of the aircraft. this is a 777-200er aircraft, i
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was saying "lr" but it's an e.r. extended range aircraft, that's what asiana uses across the pacific. the delivery date was 2006, so it's a young plane by any definition for this sort of route. we can see the forward ladder extended. we can see it's in landing configuration. something happened which caused the aircraft to tail strike or to come down heavy which then has left the landing gear collapsing which has caused the aircraft to spin round and multiple times before leaving the runway. and what the investigators will focus on is the -- is those final moments of flight and then focus on the evacuation, the fire, which looks to have been fierce at the top of the fuselage. >> okay. just getting new information in, richard, from the 7faa, flights
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into and out of san francisco airport has been canceled following the crash of flight 214 from seoul, south korea, that's according to the faa, all flights have been canceled in and out of san francisco international airport. some of those flights are being diverted to l.a.x., so if you are concerned about someone there, please contact the airline for details. but, again, flights canceled in and out of san francisco international airport. some of the flights are being sent to l.a.x., diverted to l.a.x., because of this. i want to go to cnn's dana bash now. dana, you were near the airport and you were trying to make your way i would assume from san francisco back to d.c.? dana? >> sorry, don, can you hear me now? >> i can hear you now. >> yeah, go ahead. tell us where you were and what you saw. >> that's exactly right. i was with family here, i am with family here in san francisco and i was heading to the airport to make my way back
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to washington where i live. and we were turning the corner coming off the hawaii and suddenly everybody slammed on their brakes. and as we got closer, we realized the reason and it was because we could see the smoke sort of billowing up from the runway where this plane had clearly crashed. and obviously we -- i'm sure everybody around us did the same thing, turned on the radio and we heard the news pretty fast. then a police car came up and told us and everybody else that was trying to get into the airport, you know, sorry, the airport's closed, you got to move and so they diverted traffic, you know, from pretty much the moment we saw that smoke on, we didn't see any planes take off. we didn't see any planes land. and, you know, i think what is noteworthy, i saw somebody talking about the weather not being a factor. there' not a cloud in the sky here in the san francisco area, at least over sfo. so, certainly doesn't seem like that was the issue at least on the landing portion of the flight. >> okay.
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and so, dana, immediately you saw -- one person said they didn't see a fireball, they just saw smoke. >> that's exactly right. now, i didn't see the actual crash happened. we kind of came around the bend on the highway probably minutes, maybe even seconds after it happened, but that's exactly what we saw. we just saw a plume of smoke going up. and then in the distance we didn't know it for sure but it certainly looked like it was the plane that had just crashed on the runway. certainly ex -- as you can imagine extremely eerie, and obviously we are not alone in that we are holiday travelers and we were coming up to a major, major airport trying to get on a plane at the end of a holiday week and we were diverted and i'm probably like many people right now making phone calls trying to get alternative transportation, alternative flights home, you know, thank goodness it doesn't -- we're still waiting to hear specifics about what happened to the people on the plane, but, you know, thank goodness that is, you know, a
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concern right now more or as much as the fact that people were on this plane and are certainly very scared. >> all right. dana bash, stand by. we're going to need you throughout the evening here on cnn. again, breaking news here on cnn. a large commercial airliner crashed and burned just a short time ago at the san francisco international airport. you're looking at pictures from the scene now. you can see the top of the fuselage burned out here. you can also see on a wider shot that there is no rudder. the tail section is completely off of this plane. this is a boeing 777 from asiana airlines which is a large south korean airline. this is what we know right now. the faa is calling this a crash landing. the tail broke off the plane as we had been saying. you're looking at it there. the top of the fuselage burned, pieces of the tail and other parts of the plane were flying everywhere we're told.
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we're not sure how many people were on board of this plane. we're not sure of the extent of the injuries if any at all. we did see emergency slides deployed. emergency slide on both sides of the plane deployed here so that passengers could get off of this plane very quickly. we have a team of reporters around the country also in south korea as well, and our richard quest is in london and several aviation experts to help guide us through this story until we figure out exactly what happened to those passengers, if those passengers are okay. and if there's any early information we can find out about what might have caused this crash. we do know in the moments since this happened, planes were stopped on the runway here. they were diverted in the air. and just in the last few minutes we have been told confirmed the faa has confirmed that all flights in and out of san francisco international airport canceled. some of them being diverted to other airports. one large airport in the area or close would be l.a.x. in los
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angeles, and that's where some of the flights are going now. if you need information we are told that you can check with particular carriers. 5:30 -- 5:30 eastern time, i'm just getting information from my producer in my ear now, 5:30 eastern time the national transportation safety board, ntsb, holding a press conference and we will carry that for you live. they will be live in washington with that, and we will carry it for you live. also as i get more information here, i want to tell you, this is also reportable in to cnn, a national security official tells cnn there are no signs of terrorism from the crash. okay? also other details that we are getting in from here is that, again, the airport has been closed. there were reports that the coast guard were looking for someone in the water.
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we asked that question to the coast guard. they said they would confirm that a team had been sent out but no other information about that and, again, 5:30 p.m. eastern time a press conference with the ntsb will be held live and we'll carry for it you live on cnn. let's look at the i-reports now from people that were very close to the situation. this is someone from -- this is christie miller -- christine miller, who is a cnn i-reporter who took this picture shortly after that crash happened. another i-report, and i can't read the name from that one as well, but it's a cnn i-reporter, taking a picture from a little bit further out. sven duenwald, thank you for your pictures here. you can send them to if you have them. this is val barden who also sent a picture in. now, live pictures now. this is from our affiliate kgo
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in san francisco. and you can see the emergency apparatus going onto the tarmac now to try to help with the situation here. these are ground shots from san francisco international airport. and you are getting this -- you are seeing this just as i am seeing it. the crash happened just a little bit over an hour ago, but still much to clean up. tons of investigating to do. and probably some people to tend to, the people who were on board that plane. and you can see, again, the ambulance is going out towards the tarmac there. emergency vehicles going out towards the tarmac, and you heard from mary schiavo who is formerly with the faa saying, again, that they're going to have recordings that will help them out with this particular situation. i am counting ten emergency vehicles so far at least going out there, ten ambulances, plus other vehicles including fire trucks, hook and ladder and i'm sure all of the resources there in san francisco are available and they are on top of it.
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this is their number one priority. again, this is a big story happening here in the united states, but this flight originated in seoul, south korea, as we look at the burnt-out wreckage of this airplane we want to tell you, again, we don't know how many people were on board this plane and if there are any injuries. we are working to get that information for you. but they are sending emergency vehicles onto the runway here and we're not exactly sure what is going on at this, you know, moments after this crash happened when it appears everyone is off this plane, at least we hope everyone is off the plane. we're waiting for official word on that. more information. this is from a source here at cnn. it says asiana airlines is currently investigating what caused flight 214 to crash land at san francisco airport. that's a spokesman from asiana airlines told cnn it's currently 5:43 in the morning in seoul, south korea. so, they are -- it's really early there and they're just getting news of this information
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as well. let's go to rene marsh who is following the developments for us from washington, d.c., where that ntsb press conference will be held in washington just over an hour, an hour and about 15 minutes we'll hear from the ntsb what new information, if any, are you getting, rene? >> well, don, what we want to do now is kind of flesh out where they go from here. we are going to get some initial information from the ntsb, of course, they're en route, they'll be making their way there to the crash scene. but how this will all work is the first thing they're going to do when they get on the ground is they're going to want to talk to those local officials, find out what kind of information they have and know about the people who were on board as well as the debris field, things of that sort. also, as you would imagine, they'd want to inspect the damage, and it will be broken up, the ntsb team, will be broken up into different groups that specialize in different things, so you'll have your weather group that will look at weather conditions. we just heard earlier that it was a perfect day for flying,
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but they'll want to prove that for themselves, so they'll have a group focusing specifically on that. then you'll have a group looking at air traffic control and the communications between the tower and the pilot. so, they'll be looking at that aspect. and then they'll be looking really closely at the pilots, the pilot's training, how did this pilot sleep the night before, what did he eat the night before. of course, they'll be drug and alcohol testing as well on people on board as far as the crew members go. and then last but certainly not least is they're going to want to look at the landing gear. the mechanics of this plane. these are all the pieces that are going to go into this investigation. and we can expect a number of briefings in the upcoming days from the ntsb. simply revealing exactly what they've been finding out as the day goes on. of course, we know these investigations take quite some time. the key here, of course, is going to be those black boxes. there are two black boxes typically on board these planes.
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you have the flight data recorder. you also have the cockpit voice recorder. and on that cockpit voice recorder, you can hear things like the voices. you can hear background noises. you can hear if there was a warning signal that may have gone off. the key here, though, is those boxes are usually in the tail of the plane and we can see from those pictures what happened to the tail of the plane. but the good news, though, don, usually those devices are packed in pretty sturdy, so we can bet that they will be pulling out those black boxes, bringing them back here to washington, d.c., so they can analyze the data there and piece together exactly what went terribly wrong there in san francisco. don? >> and, rene, we will be getting back to you as well when this ntsb press conference happens at 5:30 eastern time, rene marsh, in washington, thank you very much. i want to go to jim tillmon, who is an aviation expert. let's talk more about what happens here. the black boxes, the information, and probably
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eyewitnesss from the control tower as well will help with this, jim? >> well, this is -- we're very fortunate in many ways to have so many elements of investigation there intact like the boxes, which incidentally are not black as you know. they are really orange. but they will be able to discover so much about every aspect, the most modern and sophisticated recording devices on any commercial airplane are on that 777, so they're going to know every single thing that -- that you can learn to what the airplane was doing and listening to the cockpit voice recorder we cannot only hear what the crew was saying we can also as someone mentioned earlier hear all the warnings, the warning sounds, the bells, the horns, whatever is going off in the cockpit at that time. one other little thing that i noticed in looking at some of your shots there, don, this aircraft was approaching just slightly right of the center line. as you look at the debris field on the end of the runway, you'll find that the debris starts and
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continues right of the center line. i got to tell you something, the crews that fly these aircraft try to nail that center line right underneath the cockpit. they want to make sure that they're right on the best part of the landing surface. so, i don't know what happened at that point. and that would be real speculation. but if you look at the debris field, it was all lined up pretty nicely on the right of the center line of that -- of what was the runway. those who are not familiar with the picture, if you look at the picture and you see anything but black surface, you're not looking at the runway. you are looking at the approach to the runway, to give the crew a guide as to where you want to be when the runway starts. you don't want your gear to touch down until you are well beyond that maybing? on the order of 1,000 feet down the runway before uf really want
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to see the main gear touch the ground. yes, they did touch down very, very early and that led to disaster. >> all right, jim tillmon, i want you to stand by, because i want to reset what happened, what's going on for our viewers in case you are just tuning in here on cnn. we are following breaking news at san francisco's international airport, a large commercial airliner, a boeing 777, from asiana airlines crash landed just a short time ago. a number of passengers on board. we're not exactly sure how many passengers were on board. we're not sure of any injuries. we do know that many passengers ran off this planes, some of them taking pictures as the ones you are seeing now, as they were fleeing the plane and trying to get to safety here. again, we're being told by the faa that this was a crash landing. what they call a textbook crash landing. the tail broke off the plane. the fuselage at the top, you can see partially burned, most of it
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is gone, and as you look at this picture right now, you can see there is no tail section, there is no rudder on this plane. we did see the emergency slides deploy as well. and we're getting all sorts of new information here as well. i'm being told just at the top of the hour in just a few minutes there's going to be a press conference in san francisco. there's going to be another press conference at the bottom of the hour at 5:30 eastern time from washington and the faa. we can also tell you this, a national security officials tells cnn there are no signs of terrorism from this crash, that flights have been canceled in and out of san francisco's international airport. many of them because it's a large airport have been diverted to l.a.x., i know there are other airports that are closer, but l.a.x. is a much bigger airport and can absorb some of the plane -- some of the planes and flights that are coming in more readily and more easily than some of the smaller airports that may be closer. diana magnay is in seoul now.
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5:30 in the morning there. any information that you're getting? >> yeah, 5:50. we know that this plane took off at 4:53 yesterday afternoon, don. it's a little over ten hours that it takes to reach san francisco from seoul's airport which is asiana airlines international hub. and we know that asiana which is basically korea's second largest airline next to korean air, is well known for its good customer service as well as this airport which has consistently won awards for being one of the best airports that you can fly from. it's obviously incredibly early in the morning here, and we're waiting to hear any kind of reaction from anyone who was on board that plane. apparently the capacity for 777 aircraft which this is between 260 and 310 passengers.
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i'll just tell you a little bit more about asiana's fleet has 79 aircraft, and this 777 is a young plane, delivered in 2006. as i said, its international hub is in seoul, south korea, and 21 countries internationally, 71 cities. and asiana has responded to our calls and they're basically just waking up saying that they are investigating what happened. we'll keep in regular contact with them and, of course, with the ministries to get you reaction from seoul which is obviously where this flight originated from, midafternoon yesterday, don? >> all right, diana magnay, stand by. we'll be needing you throughout the evening here on cnn, again, 5:54 in the morning in seoul, south korea. they're just waking up to get news about this. i want to say that facebook ceo cheryl sandburg was supposed to be on this asiana flight.
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she just posted this on facebook. can we roll that back? she has 1.204 million passengers. taking a minute to explain what happened. my family, colleagues, debbie frost, charleston gholston and debbie hoffman and i were originally going to take the asiana flight that just crash landed. we switched to united so we could use miles for my family's tickets, our flight was scheduled to come in at the same time, but we were early and landed 20 minutes before the crash and my friend david un, he was on that asiana flight. he is fine. and she says thank you to everyone who is reaching out and sorry if we worried anyone. serious moment to give thanks, again, that's from sheryl sandberg from facebook, so she was supposed to be on that flight, she and other workers and colleagues and friends. they didn't take it except for david un who you have been seeing his pictures here live on cnn. he tweeted that picture out
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moments after he got free of that airplane. we're waiting for a press conference from san francisco at the top of the hour just moments from now here on cnn so they can update us on exactly what happened here. horrific situation as you can see. no doubt the pictures tell most of the story here and i'm sure we'll be hearing from passengers very soon here on cnn as they get their bearings, as they get out of the airport, and they begin to tell us their stories. i'm sure harrowing about what happened on this flight as it crash landed at san francisco international airport. again, a press conference from san francisco expected any moment now at the top of the hour and one at the bottom of the hour 5:30 eastern from the national transportation safety board in washington, d.c. my colleague, richard quest, who covers the airline industry and has been covering aviation successes and failures and disasters for many years now. richard, as you look at this and the pictures and you hear what's going on here, what's your assessment? >> well, i want to refer you to
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something that is now on twitter. where somebody has posted pictures in which they have modeled the descent profile for this particular flight, both yesterday and today. now, planes normally descend at an average of three degrees. that's known as the glide slope that will take them and a continuing glide slope of three degrees that will take them all the way down to the runway. we don't know, of course, whether they were using auto land here. i guess we don't know. we don't know also what other form of landing aids they were using in terms of that. but the general rule is three degrees generally will take you all the way down to the runway once you're on the glide slope. now, here's the point. somebody has posted on twitter, and i can't confirm it, but it is an interesting point worth pointing out that if you look at flight aware which is one of the models and one of the places where we find out where planes,
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the descent of this flight today is appreciably steeper than it was yesterday. in other words, this plane did have a steeper descent as it came into its final approach to sfo, there could be a thousand and one reasons for that, they'll no doubt question about it. the pilot may have decided that, air traffic control may have required it, whatever it might have been. but i'm just putting it out there, if you look at the descent of yesterday versus today, the plane did come in for a much steeper approach than it did yesterday. >> interesting to ponder there, richard. hey, richard, stick with me. because i want to read something that i just got in here. listen, when you see these pictures and you hear from the people who were at least near the scene, it's quite surprising that we're not talking about more casualties or in darker tones right now. >> no question.
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>> but we don't know. we don't know. but this is what i want to tell you, richard, the u.s. coast guard has transported one person linked to saturday's plane crash to stanford hospital, okay? stanford hospital. that's according to the coast guard. they're not sure of the patient's status. we may be hearing, you know, more stories to come out, but at this point it seems that we, you know, that we're not speaking in those darker tones now and that may not be as horrific as it could have been. richard? >> have crash landed or had fires on the runway, british air tours in the 1980s, air france in toronto, the a-340 landed and everybody got off. there were multiple deaths in the british air tour fire, once fire starts, if you survive the impact fire becomes your worst enemy, fire, smoke, and fups
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becomes your worst enemy by far in any form of aviation accident. >> and, richard quest, i'm going to need you. i'm going to kneeled the rest of our experts in the field as well. don't go anywhere. this is cnn breaking news. >> i'm don lemon here in new york, i want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. the folks who are watching cnn international and other networks as well, we are following breaking news here on cnn. the breaking news is that a large commercial airliner has crashed and burned just a short time ago at san francisco international airport. you're looking at a number of pictures there, some of them live, other pictures that were taken from passengers who were fleeing that plane. it is a passenger plane. it is a boeing 777. it's from asiana airlines which is a large south korean airline. the plane took off from seoul and was headed to san francisco international airport and on its approach. that's when this horrible incident happened.


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