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Breaking news: Asiana jet crash lands at San Francisco airport

A Boeing 777 airplane lies burned on the runway after it crashed landed at San Francisco International Airport Saturday.
A Boeing 777 airplane lies burned on the runway after it crashed landed at San Francisco International Airport Saturday.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

An Asiana Airlines Boeing 777 carrying more than 300 passengers and crew crash landed at San Francisco International Airport Saturday.

Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Laura Brown said Asiana Airlines Flight 214 crashed while landing on runway 28 at 11:26 a.m. local time (1:26 p.m. CDT).

Many passengers appeared to escape the wreckage of the aircraft safely and some of those who escaped indicated they did not believe there were any fatalities. However, multiple media outlets later reported there were at least two deaths in the crash.

Bloomberg News reporter Sangwon Yoon said the airline had emailed a statement saying it could not confirm any casualties. The airline said it was investigating the cause of the crash.

The airline reported there were 291 passengers and 16 crew members on the flight. The majority of the passengers (141) were Chinese, according to the airline statement. There were 77 South Koreans and 61 Americans on the flight.

A San Francisco Fire Department dispatcher reported that 61 people were injured in the crash.

Passengers evacuated the jet using inflatable slides.

"I just crash landed at SFO," passenger David Eun tweeted. "Tail ripped off. Most everyone seems fine. I'm ok. Surreal..."

The daughter of another passenger tweeted a photo showing smoke coming out of huge holes in the roof of the aircraft reportedly taken by her father. Orange flames appeared visible inside the jet.

Asiana is a South Korean airline and the jet was flying from Seoul to San Francisco.

A crash witness told ABC News that the jet landed at an odd angle.

"It didn't manage to straighten out before hitting the runway," Stephanie Turner said. "So the tail of the plane hit the runway, and it cartwheeled and spun and the tail broke off ... It looked like the plane had completely broken apart."

A report from another eyewitness indicated that part of the jet struck the runway before the wheels did.

"The tail broke off almost immediately upon hitting what appeared to be the end of the runway," Jennifer Sorgen told CNN. "It kind of did a bellyflop landing."

Ki Siadatan, who lives near the airport, told BBC News he was gardening on a balcony when he saw the plane approaching the runway in a "very wobbly" fashion.

"It seemed like it just was out of control," he said. "As I see [sic] it approaching the runway, all of a sudden we just hard a loud boom. Within seconds it was hidden in a cloud of what seemed to be a combination of smoke and dust."

Law enforcement officials told the Los Angeles Times there was no indication terrorism was involved in the crash.

The airport was closed in the aftermath of the accident and the National Transportation Safety Board was sending a team to investigate the crash. Flights to San Francisco Saturday afternoon from O'Hare and Midway airports were cancelled.

The English version of the Asiana Airlines website did not have any information on the crash late Saturday afternoon, but was noting that the airline offers daily flights from Seattle and Chicago to Seoul. Early Saturday evening, a statement was added to the website confirming the crash, but offering few details.

"Asiana Airlines is currently investigating the specific cause of the incident as well as any injuries that may have been sustained to passengers as a result," the statement said. "Asiana Airlines will continue to cooperate fully with the investigation of all associated government agencies and to facilitate this cooperation has established an emergency response center at its headquarters."

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