China’s social media is gripped by the dramatic crash landing of Asiana Airlines Flight 214 in San Francisco airport. The Boeing 777 was carrying 307 passengers and crew members, 141 of whom are Chinese nationals. Two passengers, both Chinese nationals, died in the crash and the rest survived.
A first-hand account was posted on Sina Weibo by Xu Da (@徐达S), a product manager for Taobao, the Chinese e-commerce giant. Xu was traveling with his wife and child from Shanghai to San Francisco. He tweeted,
I sat near the tail, and felt that the plane was flying very low as it landed. The airplane windows looked like they were only as high as the barriers separating the airport from the sea. And it seemed like there was a drop, then I heard the plane was trying harder to pull its nose up. I thought in my mind, please don’t let anything happen, and I put my hand on the row in front of me [to keep balance]. I immediately heard a loud bang in the back, and the oxygen masks dropped in the cabin. I smelled something burning and saw fire.
Good thing that the plane soon came to a halt. It was chaotic in the cabin, and we hurried and got our bags. My wife was quite calm. She even collected our small things and put them into a bag. We saw there was light behind us, we carried our bags, grabbed our kid and walked backwards. Most of the kitchenette in the back had disappeared. There was a big hole, pretty round too, and we got out from there. After we got out, we found that all three of us had small scratches on us.
Hell, two people died? Now I start to feel really lucky.
It was about an half hour from landing to evacuation. Passengers and rescuers are all quite calm and orderly, no one made a fuss, and everything took its course. I felt like the fire became more fierce long after evacuation. So I was surprised to find out that two people died. Please don’t misunderstand, only then did I start to feel really lucky…
China’s Internet users were particularly concerned about a group of 35 high school students and teachers, who were on their way to a summer camp in the U.S. 34 of them were confirmed to be safe, but one is still unaccounted for.