Seoul - The South Korean Boeing 777 which crashed in San
Francisco after landing short of the runway was only seven years old and had no
known mechanical problems, the Asiana Airlines CEO said on Sunday.
"We purchased this airplane in March 2006... currently
we understand that there are no engine or mechanical problems," Yoon
Young-Doo told a press conference, adding that the two people killed were
South Korea's transport ministry said separately both the
dead were female, born in 1996 and 1997.
Tail hit runway
The ministry said the plane's tail hit the runway and the
aircraft veered to the left off the runway. A total of 181 people were injured.
Yoon said the crew had made an in-flight broadcast as usual,
"asking passengers to buckle up for landing. There was no emergency
He said one pilot had more than 10 000 flying hours, and the
other more than 9 000.
"Our pilots strictly comply with aviation rules,"
the CEO said.
He said the two people who died were passengers seated at
the back of the plane.
"Please accept my deepest apology," the CEO said,
bowing in front of TV cameras at the press conference.
"We'll make our utmost efforts to cope with the
The plane, which originated in Shanghai and picked up
passengers in South Korea before heading to San Francisco, had 291 passengers
and 16 crew on board.
Among them, 141 were Chinese nationals, followed by 77 South
Koreans, 61 Americans, one Japanese, three Indians, three Canadians, one
French, one Vietnamese, three others with unidentified nationality and 16 crew.
Anxious relatives swarmed around Asiana's headquarters in
Seoul, seeking details of the crash and the whereabouts of the victims.
"I'm very worried about my daughter. She called me a
while ago saying she received injuries to the shoulder and legs," a
middle-aged woman told journalists.
"But since then, I've heard no word from her. I wonder
where she is now."
South Korean President Park Geun-Hye offered sympathies to
victims and their relatives.
"I offer my deepest condolences to the victims and
their relatives," her spokesperson quoted her as saying.
"All government agencies concerned will join forces to
provide all necessary assistance and resources to deal with the disaster."
A group of some 20 South Koreans including government
officials and Asiana staff left on a special flight for San Francisco, the
transport ministry said.
It was the first fatal crash of a passenger jet in 20 years
for Asiana, South Korea's second-largest airline.
In June 1993 an Asiana Boeing 737 crashed into a mountain in
South Korea, killing 68.