A survivor of the Asiana Airlines plane crash at San Francisco International Airport said flight attendants “fell out” of the back of the plane after the tail section broke off.
“Right when it appeared to coast for the landing,…(he) sped up, like the pilot knew he was short,” Elliott Stone told CNN, according to the Agence France-Presse news agency. “And then the back end just hit, and flies up in the air, and everybody’s head goes up to the ceiling. And then it just kind of drifts for a little bit, for a good 300 yards and then tips over. Fire starts.”
Two passengers identified as teen girls from China were found outside the wreckage and confirmed dead, and 182 people were transported to area hospitals, 49 with critical injuries. The flight had been carrying 307 people.
Stone said he was able to evacuate safely because he was seated in the middle of the Boeing 777, but the flight attendants seated in the back “got hammered, because we landed short.”
“And then they all fell out – and it was just the most terrible thing I’ve seen,” he said.
Stone said that about 20 minutes after the crash, he and other passengers noticed “another five bodies” away from the site “that nobody saw.”
“We were yelling at people, yelling at firefighters. Get over here. They were just lagging hard. I don’t know,” he said.
Vedpal Singh told the Associated Press he was seated in the middle of the aircraft with his family when he heard a loud sound.
“We knew something was horrible wrong,” said Singh, who sustained a fractured collarbone.
His 15-year-old son said luggage tumbled from the overhead bins. Singh said the entire plane went quiet before people struggled to get out anyway they could.
“It’s miraculous we survived,” he said.
Benjamin Levy, 39, was seated in the emergency exit row and told the AP it seemed like the plane was flying too low as it approached the runway. Levy said he felt the pilot try to lift the jet just before impact.
“Everybody was screaming. I was trying to usher them out,” he said of the first seconds after the crash. “I said, `Stay calm, stop screaming, help each other out, don’t push.’”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.