(SAN FRANCISCO) — The National Transportation Safety Board on Tuesday is set to meet again with the four pilots of the Asiana Airlines jet that crash-landed at San Francisco Intentional Airport on Saturday.
Why the crash occurred and who or what is to blame are now the focuses of the safety investigation. Federal investigators have yet to indicate whether the crash can be attributed to pilot error, while they continue to analyze data recovered from the plane’s black boxes.
The investigation into the cause of the crash has noted that the pilot in charge of the flight was in his ninth training flight on the Boeing 777 and was 11 flights short of the worldwide standard to get licensed, according to company officials.
Pilot Lee Kang-kook had 43 hours of flight experience on the Boeing 777 and Saturday was his first time landing at the airport with that kind of aircraft, Asiana Airlines spokeswoman Lee Hyo-min said Monday at a news conference in Seoul, South Korea.
Meanwhile, the parents of the two Chinese teens killed in Saturday’s crash arrived overnight at San Francisco International Airport. An investigation is underway to determine whether one of the two dead girls might have been hit by a rescue vehicle in the immediate chaos after the plane crash-landed.
The two fatalities were identified as Wang Linjia and Ye Mengyuan, both 16 and students from China.
Thirty-seven patients remain hospitalized at San Francisco area hospitals with eight still in critical condition.
More than 60 victims were treated at San Francisco General Hospital. Dr. Andre Campbell said he treated a number of the patients, two of whom were paralyzed by the crash.
“People have injuries to their chest, injuries to their spine, also abdominal injuries which were from the blunt-force trauma,” he said.
Asiana Airlines Flight 214 was carrying 291 passengers and 16 crew members when it crashed. The tail was torn off as it crashed, and the plane burst into flames. More than 180 people were initially taken to local hospitals for treatment.
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Steve Almasy and Chris Boyette, CNN
Rafael Romo and Emanuella Grinberg, CNN
Heather Kelly, CNN
Artemis Moshtaghian, CNN