Return to Transcripts main page

Breaking News

Boeing 777 Crashes in San Francisco; At Least Two Dead in Crash Landing; Latest from Cairo on a Muslim Brotherhood March

Aired July 07, 2013 - 01:00   ET


JOHN KING, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking news at least two people confirmed dead after Asiana flight 214 a Boeing 777 crash landed on the runway right there at San Francisco International Airport. This is what is left from the plane. The tail of the aircraft completely ripped off. Witnesses say the plane was landing, on the back the tail hit the ground at the rear edge of that runway. Then the plane spun around throwing aircraft parts and debris across the tarmac.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: It looked normal at first. It was taking the same angle that they always come in, like this and wheels were down. And then I knew something was wrong, about three or five seconds out I said -- I started calling to my fiance, I said, this didn't look right, this doesn't look right. And the wheels, there were too low, too soon. So this is the runway. It came in like this. And I was just watching the wheels and it just hit like that and the whole thing just collapsed immediately. It never really had a chance.


KING: Passengers were able to escape the burning plane on those inflatable emergency slides. After the aircraft came to a stop, just off the runway. We have just heard from the San Francisco fire chief on the latest numbers. Authorities now say everyone aboard flight 214 is accounted for.

We know there were 307 people onboard this flight. Of those, 182 were taken to hospital, 49 of those were seriously injured, some critically and incredibly, 123 people were completely unscathed. Many of them now have been allowed to leave the airport terminal. As we mentioned, we do know this evening, 2 are confirmed dead.

It is seen now the summation we put together based on all the eye witness statement showing you the crash landing. If you watched, the nose pointed up, the tail down, hitting the rocks there just at the edge of the runway. The plane then spinning off the runway coming to a rest right there where eye witnesses have said especially the passengers that yes there was a fire but not immediately, allowing them -- allowing them the precious moments. You see it again, boom, the plane hitting those rocks, the tail down. The nose pointed up before it should have come down a bit further up along that runway.

Terror, onboard Asiana flight 214 is 307 passengers and crew realized something gone horribly wrong as they attempted to land. One passenger describes what it was like it the moments just before and just after the crash.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: A sign like we about to land, the nose of the plane as you know it was up a little bit and then (INAUDIBLE) start hitting hard and then we felt like we were going up again so that is why I said I felt like we're a bunch of, maybe the guys able to pull one of those almost missed landing and go back up and it didn't happen which is flashback so as I say, if we flip, none of us will be here to talk about it. It hits like that, (INAUDIBLE). You're tied up to your chair and then again we're skipping on the runway and I felt like we were going back up. I thought maybe we will go back up and start flying again you know trying to improvise another landing but we went back down again so it was, as I say, it felt like slow motion. I was still tied to my chair until I unbuckled. But our chair and the whole row was completely crushed and the chair behind. On the left you know first of all there was another Koreans that may not speak English that well but yes it was disbelief, screaming but I think we managed to come down very quickly and really start getting out and not pushing each other or stepping on each other so it felt like you went really fast.


KING: Using live pictures of the impact right there you heard just incredible tale of survival. Then Levy also says he actually stayed to help other disembark and as he walked away from that flight he messaged his wife who was also supposed to be on board. The question still unanswered here, what happened in those final minutes to cause this plane to crash land after crossing the pacific from Seoul. Right now the crash scene is crawling with investigators. Their job, find out the cause of the crash and hopefully, hopefully fill the database to prevent it from ever happening again. CNN Dan Simon is still there at San Francisco International Airport a long day of reporting Dan, what's the latest?

DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I think sometimes we and the media can be guilty of overusing the phrase, it could have been a lot worse but in this particular case, I don't really know how there is any other way to say it. I mean, you look at the wreckage and the fact that all those people walk the way, you know what more can you say? Two people confirmed dead according to the South Korean Transport Ministry, the two people who died were both Chinese passport holders and according to San Francisco fire officials, they were found on the runway which begs the question were they ejected when the plane hit the ground or were they somehow able to evacuate and succumb to their injuries. At this point, we don't know the answer to that question. We have been talking about the injured all afternoon and all evening long we know that 9 bay area hospitals had taken in the injured, 49 people are said to be in serious condition. If you look around where I'm here at the international terminal, you can see that here on this Saturday evening its pretty busy. If you look at the monitor board most of the flights now were on time operationally. Things have basically return to normal here at the airport which is pretty remarkable given the fact that they had this almost 12 hours ago this incident occurred. In terms of where we are now, we know that the NTSB from Washington has a crew in the way to San Francisco expected to land at approximately midnight local time of course will start investigating the scene at daybreak trying to piece together what in fact happened. John as we have been reporting as you just mentioned the tail according to the witnesses seemed to make impact first with the front of the aircraft pitched up. What happened, was this some kind of pilot error, was there some type of malfunction with the aircraft? Was there a wind shear? These are all the different scenarios the investigators are going to be looking at obviously in the hours or days to come. John.

KING: Dan, you live in San Francisco. You fly in and out of that airport all the time, many days as I've been through it, you have fogs, you have conditions, but on this day at least to the naked eye weather was not a factor, right?

SIMON: Weather not a factor and I can tell you that frequently, you do get over whether you get a lot of fog as in traffic when that happens they close down a couple of runways so that was the immediate speculation that perhaps weather may had played a factor but that speculation was immediately put to rest when people said it was a clear sunny day here at San Francisco. All four runways were operational, traffic going in and out normally so weather we can take that off the table. So really the question becomes as I put it before, was this some kind of pilot error or was there a malfunction with the airplane. I think that is what we're looking at here.

KING: A long day reporting at the airport he will stay there as Dan noted that federal investigative team due there in just about two hours but along with that hopefully we get information from them beginning at daybreak and Simon thanks so much for a long day of reporting. Of the 307 passengers and crew onboard more than half were taken to the hospital including 49 in serious condition. The most serious trauma cases went to San Francisco General, that's the city's only level 1 trauma center. The hospital set up tents outside the emergency room to help deal with the sudden influx. Hospital spokeswoman says, "Spontaneous wave about 30 staff showed up to help including doctors, nurses, social workers and language translators. Let's go live now to Kyung Lah. She is at San Francisco General and Kyung, what's the latest?

KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I can tell you that the hospital given its last update for the evening, John, 53 total were brought here and as you mentioned some of the most seriously injured are being treated at this hospital. They did release 7 patients, 15 were admitted, 6 remained in critical condition and what's have been quite extraordinary is actually seeing these patients as they leave the hospital, I saw a couple of women who still look quite daze and quite shocked. We also spoke with a man who was in this plane when it went down. He has quite an extraordinary story to tell. Here is what he told us. (AUDIO GAP) So moving on it sounds like basically what he was telling us is that like all the patients they feel extremely lucky that they were able to walk away from this plane in part because they didn't feel that there was any fire on this plane until many of them got out John. So you heard Dan say that that there were a lot of people here throughout the investigation saying it could have been worse. That's a sentiment that's certainly John being echo here at this hospital, John. KING: And Kyung, you've mentioned you just received the last briefing. When hospital officials speak, is there one injury their dealing with more than others or is it a combination of whether its impact, traumas, smoke inhalation or just the whole mix?

LAH: They kind of did touch on every single injury out there. They talked about a lot of bumps and bruises, contusions. The thing that they did talk about were smoke inhalation injuries that they are quite concerned about as well as spinal injuries. If you think about how this plane was landing. You heard a lot of these people talk about a sudden drop, hitting the ground very quickly at a rapid pace, passengers flying out of the seats and hitting the ceiling the top of the plane, well that leads to some spinal injuries and that's what doctors are really concerned about so when they talk about the critically injured, what they are looking at are spinal injuries, that's what we've heard from the head of the ER, John.

KING: And cueing the passenger you are talking about (INAUDIBLE) Mr. Levee (ph) when he left he was joking. He was saying, "It was like an amusement park ride" like he felt the impact there. Some of that is probably a good sense of humor. Some of that is probably a bit of shock, just described his demeanor when he walked out of that hospital.

LAH: You know it's funny when you have some sort of trauma. People react to it very differently. What we saw from Mr. Levee (ph) is he was he was joking. He was trying to keep it light and he was saying, "Okay I can't let this affect me. I have to be able to get on a plane again. I'm not going to be afraid of flying." So that's his method of coping. But I talked to a couple of other women who were leaving just a short time before Levee (ph) and they were completely different. They looked extremely dazed. They looked almost unable to cope with anybody outside of each other so people react to trauma very differently and you're certainly seeing a play out here at this hospital as patients leave.

KING: Kyung Lah one of our remarkable CNN team reporters/producers on the ground today in San Francisco. Kyung thanks so much. When we come back we will hear from an aviation expert. He will tell us what kind of clues federal investigators will be looking for and are looking for right now as they scour that traumatic crash scene in San Francisco.


KING: The dramatic eyewitness accounts are really telling a story here. Helping us understand what may have gone wrong in the moments just before this Asiana Airlines flight burst into flames. Here is Mike Murphy describing what he saw.


MIKE MURPHY, EYEWITNESS: Something happened before it hit. I didn't see or hear it but it caught the other fishermen's attention. And they all looked down. But what I saw was it was coming in to land at the last minute, you could see the front end pop up and then slammed down. And then it went from there and eventually became the big explosion.


KING: So that's brings us to the now, to the investigation itself. The National Transportation Safety Board has a reputation for being painstakingly though rough. Earlier, I spoke with former Boeing aviation safety engineer, Todd Curtis. Let's start with the plane, Todd, the Boeing 777, when you look at the pictures and you see where it hit, just at the edge of the runway, very close to the water, what is that tell you?

TODD CURTIS, FORMER BOEING AVIATION SAFETY ENGINEER: It tells me, if nothing else that the approach was more shallow than it should have been. They landed or the touchdown point was far shorter where they intend it. It should have never come even close to hitting the seawall at the edge of the runway like that.

KING: And at that point, number one, how fast is a plane typically traveling? And, number two, while we all get used to technology on flights, is the computer flying the plane or was the pilot flying the plane?

CURTIS: Typically the pilot is going to be hand flying the plane right at the final approach there. This was a day where it was relatively a good weather day. They didn't have to have a full auto system in place. And even when you have a lot of automated systems, right at the point of touchdown or right before touchdown, you're going to have the pilots under positive control of the aircraft. Now, as far as why it hit the way it did or rather how fast it was, it depends on the weight of the aircraft and other factors. And again, this is something that has to be discovered through the cockpit voice recorder and digital flight data recorder, how exactly, how fast this aircraft was going, both horizontally along the ground and its vertical speed, that may be the critical factor that made it land so short.

KING: And when you look at those pictures, you see it lost its tail. But the fuselage pretty much intact except for the damage caused by the fire. What does that tell you about impact and initial damage, anyway?

CURTIS: Well, the impact, the initial impact was strong enough to basically cause both horizontal stabilizers and the vertical fin to come off the aircraft. This was major, major structural damage which made it very difficult to control the aircraft. Also if you look closely toward the end of the fuselage you see what seems to be a tear in a bunch of metal. That seems to be the aft pressure bulkhead, so you probably had very serious structural damage within the rear part of the fuselage as well.

KING: And once the rear fin goes and the horizontal stabilizer goes, does the pilot have any control over that plane?

CURTIS: They certainly have some control of the plane. But again, the current, the dynamics of the aircraft in that situation far different from what you would see during a normal landing. And again, I'd like to emphasize that one thing we're not quite sure of, because the investigators haven't really gotten there, is what was the vertical speed of this aircraft at touchdown. And as we saw, landing gear and engines were separated from the aircraft. It could have been that the vertical speed was so great that the energy when it hit the ground was so great that you had major portions of the aircraft, like the landing gear, coming off soon after touchdown.

KING: And if you were one of those investigators and you're making your list now of questions you want answered, what are the top two or three?

CURTIS: Well, top two or three will be, what is the statement or what are the statements from the two pilots flying the aircraft because of course we have all sorts of information from the black boxes. But the state of mind of the pilot, that is, why they made the decisions they did prior to landing is something that would be very important to know. Also, from outward appearances until the very end of the flight, it looked as though the flight were normal. One question I would like to ask those pilots is, was there anything going on in the minutes or the hours leading up to landing where you were taking off your usual schedule? Were you doing things that were not on the check list? Were you not following procedures? Was there anything out of place or out of the ordinary prior to landing?

KING: The distraction left behind after the crash. What this trail of debris might tell us about just what happened at Asiana fight 214, that's next.


KING: Updating you on breaking news now, Asiana fight 214 came in for a landing at San Francisco International, something went horribly wrong. Witnesses reported the tail of that plane clipped the edge of the runway. The aircraft then spun around, belly sliding along the runway and tarmac before bursting into flames. There were a total of 307 people on board this flight. All passengers and crew are now accounted for. Two people are confirmed dead. The South Korean government official tells reporters the two fatalities are Chinese passports. Now watch this as we use a diagram here at CNN's Rene Marsh takes a closer look at what the trail of debris can tell us about just what happened.

RENE MARSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We have partially recreated the crash scene based on what we've been able to see in the pictures and the videos so far so follow me from the left side of your screen to right. On the far left, you can see debris in the water and a debris trail where the land meets the water and it that same vicinity, the wheels of the plane and the tip of the tail. Now shift your eyes to the right a little and that's where the vertical stabilizer fell and this is what the vertical stabilizer this part of the tail. To the right of that is the horizontal stabilizers and that is this section of the tail here and then when you look to the right of all of that you can see the landing gear and then shift your eyes to the far right and that is where the fuselage ended up. Now this is what the NTSB investigators are going to be looking at. They are going to look at how close these parts are together in relation to each other, which part came off first, which part came off second and really no detail will be too small in trying to piece this whole thing together. Also, really crucial is going to be that data recording boxes as well as the voice recording box. Those are crucial information that will need to be analyzed. Rene Marsh, CNN Washington.

KING: That diagram helps you understand just what happened. Now, we're getting more eyewitness accounts from those waiting inside the terminal. Watching smoke and flames blowing from that plane and to those inside the plane who experienced those inside the plane who experienced it first hand.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: We came in a little early and the smoke.

UNIDENTIFIED PARTICIPANT: So today you were trying to go?

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Yeah, we're trying to go home now. All of us are waiting outside and everything to go back to Florida.

UNIDENTIFIED PARTICIPANT: Okay, so hopefully later today?

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Listen my heart is with the people. All I cared about is that the people are okay.

UNIDENTIFIED PARTICIPANT: What happened to your flight?

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: We don't know. Nobody is telling us and nobody can help us either so we don't know. So we're moving out or what.

UNIDENTIFIED PARTICIPANT: A little frustrated? No one is telling anything.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Yeah, yeah seriously frustrated.

UNIDENTIFIED PARTICIPANT: Can you describe what it's like you have a 15-year-old son.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Yeah, both are in hospital really I feel bad at that time but now I'm fine.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: As it landed like those are hard like loud noise and then the masks fell down and then like I don't know heavier stuffs start falling down on people and then they started screaming that's it.

UNIDENTIFIED PARTICIPANT: What was falling down on you?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Like the luggage.

UNIDENTIFIED PARTICIPANT: And what where you doing at the time?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I actually was pretty scared so I don't know.

UNIDENTIFIED PARTICIPANT: A lot of people getting out of their seats, what were you doing?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Most of them couldn't get out of the seat because they had their seatbelts so like they were struggling.

UNIDENTIFIED PARTICIPANT: Did you see flames, smoke?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Yes, before like leaving, I saw some smokes in the cabin I think.

KING: Up next these are some investigations of the some of the most high profile plane crashes. We will find out what the former inspector general for the U.S. Department of Transportation thinks about the scene, next.


KING: I'm John King in Washington. Welcome to our viewers in the United States and from around the world. Let's update you now on our breaking news recap -- the latest development in this deadly crash landing at San Francisco's International airport.

At least two people are confirmed dead. More than 100 others, hurt -- some of them critically after something went terribly wrong as Asiana Flight 214 touched down. Listen to this passenger describe the horror on board.

ELLIOTT STONE, PASSENGER ON FLIGHT 214: It seemed like we were a little bit high. Like we could see the tar mat down below us as we were coming down kind of sharp, and then right when it started to coast to the landing, all of a sudden the engine was all -- like he sped up, like he knew he was short. Then just BOOM! The back end just hit and then flies up in the air and everyone's head goes up to the ceiling. And then it kind of just drifts for a little bit -- probably a good 300 yards, then tips over -- a fire starts. Everyone is pushing the doors out.

JOHN KING: Let's break down the latest numbers. We know that there were 307 people on board this flight; of those, 182 taken to hospitals; 49 of those were seriously injured -- some critically; an incredible 123, completely unscathed. As we mentioned -- we do know tonight -- two people were confirmed dead.

Now investigators are combing the scene, looking at the debris, interviewing passengers and crew, trying to find out what caused this crash. The plan broke into pieces -- some chunks even flew into the ocean. So what are investigators looking for? Joining us now is the former Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Transportation, Mary Schiavo.

Mary, thank you for joining us. We are now into Sunday morning here in the east. It is late -- late on Saturday out in San Francisco. The Go Team from Washington is due to arrive in the next hour or so. As some people will ask -- now that's 11, 12 hours after the crash -- explain what resources are already there that will help secure the scene, secure the evidence and be there ready to brief the experts when they arrive.

MARY SCHIAVO, FORMER INSPECTOR GENERAL, U.S. TRANSPORTATION DEPARTMENT: Well, one of the things we have an advantage of in this country is that the law is very clear about an aircraft wreckage site. The NTSB will have primary jurisdiction, and that site has been secured by local law enforcement and local emergency responders. The Federal Aviation Society responded at the request of the NTSB to help secure the site and secure the witnesses.

And of course the FBI. There was no indication that it is terrorism, but they have jurisdiction if it is. And so the law enforcement functions have also been able to secure the site. The NTSB will, of course, have primary jurisdiction, and they will not only start by looking at the wreckage and all of the information that's available on paper -- from everything from warnings about the landing system not being available to training and records of the pilots. But most importantly is they have the opportunity and the right to interview those pilots, and no one else should have done it until they spoke with their airline and their families. But the NTSB will be first at the interview with the pilots.

KING: And you have been involved in a senior way with several high- profile investigations. When you look at these pictures and you see the tail and the horizontal stabilizers in one place -- just essentially out of the bay -- and the fuselage so far away up the runaway and off in the grassy area there. Just your first glance at the physical evidence -- what does that tell you?

SCHIAVO: Well it tells you, of course, that there were multiple strikes, but also that they came in too low. And the eye witness and ear witness accounts give a very important clue when they say it sounded like the pilot put more power in.

And the question is going to be: Was that power applied before the first strike or after the first strike? And, of course, the cockpit- voice recorder and the flight-data recorder will give conclusive answers to that -- as to when the pilots realized they were too low. And if they did, did the plane respond when they commanded it with the additional power? If that occurred after they already had the strike with the sea wall, it was too late. There was no way to get that plane back up again after it had sustained such damage.

But those kinds of things are very important -- from the witnesses, from the flight-data recorder, from the cockpit-voice recorder, and even what the air-traffic controller saw up in the tower, because they had a bird's-eye view, and they will have very important information to add, as well as their recordings of their instructions.

KING: Mary Schiavo is the former Department of Transportation Inspector General -- has had a senior role in very high-profile crash investigations. Mary, I appreciate you staying with us into the early morning hours here, as we try to understand this one. We'll stay in touch in the hours and days ahead, I'm sure.

Asiana Airlines Flight 214 originated in Shanghai with a stop in Seoul's Inch on International Airport. Asiana Airlines is South Korea's second largest airline. CNN's Diana Magnay is live in Seoul for us now. Diana, what's the latest from there?

DIANA MAGNAY (ANCHOR, CNN INTERNATIONAL) : Hi, John. Well the president -- President Puk (ph) has just made a statement expressing her condolences and promising a full investigation. And we've also got a briefing going on right now from the Ministry of Transport, and they say that they have a government team en route to Seoul -- I'm sorry to San Francisco right now. They'll clearly be working closely with the NTSB there to try and investigate what exactly happened with this crash.

They say that the NTSB is talking to the pilots already, and they said that they didn't think it would be too difficult to find the black box, but they didn't know how long this investigation would go. If it was short it could be anything like six months, and if it was long, it could be anything up to two years. So those are the details we are getting from the briefing right now.

And we do know a little bit more about one of the four pilots -- the man who was actually piloting the plane when it came in to land. He is described by Asiana Airlines as a veteran pilot. He's been flying for them since 1996. A man called Lee Chung-Lin (ph). So the government here -- the government officials said they haven't been in contact with him yet, but the NTSB is, John.

KING: And obviously, Diana, a great number of families there concerned. How is the information flow been in that regard?

MAGNAY: Well, there have been various hotlines established. Asiana has a hotline established for families. They sent that out early this morning, because this was news that South Koreans woke up to. As you say, a lot of these people traveling were actually Chinese -- 141 people on the plane were Chinese citizens coming from Shanghai.

The consulate in San Francisco -- the Chinese Consulate there has established a hotline, and they're basically going through the names of people they know to be safe and issuing the names of people who are, at this point, confirmed to be safe and well. And, so far, that list has 40 names on it. So there are various numbers you can call if you are worried about relatives -- both in South Korea and in San Francisco.

KING: Diana Magnay live for us in Seoul. That was the flight that started in Shanghai and came through Seoul. Diana, thank you for that update there. And that's an important bit of news there. South Korea officials saying that in there view anyway -- that their belief is the NTSB investigators is already speaking to the crew. We'll continue to stay on top of that.

This show we have here -- not only will we keep you updated on the latest on Flight 214, but we'll also look at some of the other major stories in the world today, including the ongoing crisis in Egypt. Supporters of the deposed president refuse to budge. They want Mohammed Morsy to return to power.


KING: To the right of the screen there are live pictures from San Francisco International Airport as we update you on this evening's dramatic breaking news. As Asiana Flight 214 came in for a landing right there in San Francisco International, something went horribly wrong.

Witnesses report the tail of that plane clipping the edge of the runway. The plane, they said, then spun around -- its belly sliding along the tarmac before eventually bursting into flames. There were we were told a total of 307 people on board this flight -- a Boeing 777. All passengers and crew now accounted for. Two people are confirmed dead. A South Korean government official telling reporters that the two fatalities held Chinese passports.

But I'll also bring you up to speed on other major stories we're following. It's almost eight o'clock Sunday morning now in Egypt, where there's a great deal of confusion and uncertainty over who will be the country's new prime minister. Egyptian state media reported hours ago that opposition leader, Mohamad El Baradei, would be sworn in. That was on Saturday afternoon. But that never happened.

And now, officials say, there's no final decision on who will get that important job. Meanwhile supporters of the deposed President Mohammed Morsy -- well, they're keeping up the pressure. Thousands have stayed up all night for a massive rally in Nasser City, east of Central Cairo. They also massed (ph) around the Egyptian Republican Guard barracks, where heavily armed soldiers stood guard behind barbed wire.

That crowd gathered early Saturday for a symbolic funeral procession. They marched, they said, for their compatriots killed during clashes Friday outside of those same barracks. Our Karl Penhaul, right in the middle of it.

KARL PENHAUL (CORRESPONDENT, CNN INTERNATIONAL): Once again tens of thousands of supporters of the deposed President Mohammed Morsy have taken to the streets of Cairo. Today the motive is a symbolic funeral procession (ph).


... at least five of their supporters have been gunned down by the military outside of the headquarters of the Republican Guard after Friday prayers. They believe that Mr. Morsy is still under arrest at the guard headquarters, however the military has said that they did not use live fire at that scene. The Health Ministry has so far declared one person dead in that instance. As you can see, as in previous days, the crowd is very, very passionate.

But what the Muslim Brotherhood and march organizers have done is to set up lines of civilians here who are linking arms to make sure that the crowd doesn't get out of hand -- to try to maintain some semblance of order until they reach Repbulican Guard buildings.

As you can see, the marchers organizers have brought with them four coffins draped in the Egyptian flag. But as I was saying, it is very much a symbolic funeral cortege, because organizers say, the bodies of the dead are not actually there. Police told the organizers that they wouldn't allow them to march if they brought actual corpses. They said they believed it was both a security risk and would inflame the masses. It is still several hundred yards to the Republican Gueard headquarters. So far the march has been peaceful, and that is certainly the way organizers hope it will stay.

Karl Penhaul, CNN, Cairo.

JOHN KING, CNN: A year long legal battle is over to deport a radical cleric from Britain. Abu Qatada was sent early Sunday to Jordan, where he's wanted on terror charges. Qatada was convicted in absentia in Jordan in 1999, on charges he conspired to cause explosions. Britain had been trying to deport him since 2005. He now faces trial back in Jordan for alleged terror attacks in 1999 and 2000.

Another country now joining the list of places offering asylum for the U.S. intelligence leaker, Edward Snowden. The Bolivian government says the offer is what it calls "fair protest". That, after several European countries you might remember would not allow its president, Evo Morales, his plane, access their airspace last week. Bolivia says that due to suspicions, U.S. field base Edward Snowden was onboard. Bolivia says it's outraged over the incident. Venezuela also offering asylum, Nicaragua says it is willing to consider it.

One person has been confirmed dead and scores others still missing after a massive fire in the Canadian province of Quebec. It all started when a freight train hauling 70 tank cars full of crude oil -- look at those pictures -- derailed early Saturday morning. The initial blast triggered a chain reaction of explosions, and a fire that pretty much destroyed the central business district of a small town. Dozens of cars burst into flames, and kept burning for hours. Firefighters from both countries were called in to fight the fire. Nearly 1,000 people had to be evacuated from their homes.

When we return, we'll here a riveting account of the San Fransisco plane crash from someone who survived it. You're looking at live pictures right there. Stay with us for the latest.


KING: I'm John King, Washington, welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world as we update you know on our breaking news, this deadly crash-landing at San Fransisco International Airport. We know at least two people are dead, dozens are hurt, some critically, after something went terribly wrong as flight 214 touched down.


BEN LEVY: It sounded like we were about to land, the nose of the plane, as you know, it goes up a little bit, and then with full throttles started hitting -- hitting hard, and then we felt like we were going up again, so at this point, like I said, it felt like we were going to (inaudible) to pull one of those almost missed landing, and go back up, and it didn't happen, it was just pushed back. So as I said, if we flipped (ph), none of us would be here to talk about it.

(END VIDEO CLIP) KING: This CNN animation shows you what witnesses tell us happened. They say the plane was landing when the back of the plane hit the ground at the edge of the runway. The plane then spun, right there as you see, around, throwing aircraft parts and debris across the tarmac and the runway. And then a fireball erupted, once again, you know, two people are dead. A South Korean government official telling reporters both were Chinese passport holders. They also know 49 of those hurt are in serious condition, and hospitals across the San Fransisco Bay area. Let's get the -- one of the passengers that was on the horrific flight that crashed in San Fransisco said the scene was chaos. Now he's OK, and so are his friends and family members, but listen as he describes the frightening moments as the plane came down.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We were like, 10 seconds away from being home, and it seemed like we were a little bit high, and like we could see the tarmac down below us, and so we were coming down kind of sharp, and then right when it started to coast, like for the landing, all of a sudden the engine was all (inaudible), like you sped up (inaudible), like the pilot knew he was short, and then just boom, 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, probably a good 300 yards, then tips over, fire starts, everybody's you know, pushing the doors out.

There were probably like 50 to 75 people that were kind of like on stretchers and had the neck braces and stuff. There was five that we saw was just terrible, just like you know, bad -- bad news, and those were the flight attendants that got dropped out the back. The back got the worst of it, and that's what opened up, I think right where the flight attendants sit, and they, you know, got (inaudible) outright (inaudible), and then we were kind of like fishtailed for another 300 yards, just (inaudible) and then it finally rolled over, fire started, and that's when everyone -- all the passengers just jumped out.


KING: Even hours later, just to see those pictures, and to hear those accounts, stops your heart. Let's go (inaudible), on the ground for the latest, Dan Simon spent all day at the San Fransisco International Airport. Dan, give me the latest.

DAN SIMON, CNN: Hey, John. Just before 11 pm local time, the NTSB group of Washington expected to land in about an hour. Let's talk about what they can expect -- be expected to do tomorrow. Obviously they'll want to get the flight data recorder, and the cockpit voice recorder, they'll want to talk to some of the key witnesses, some of the key survivors. They'll also want to interview the crew, and talk to the pilot, and try to begin piecing together all the debris, and start coming up with some operating theories in terms of how this all occurred, John, I think that is really what -- what tomorrow is going to be all about. In terms of what's happening right now, you touched on the survivors and where they are at the various hospitals. Nine Bay Area hospitals have taken in patients, 49 of them said to be in serious condition. We should point out that 191 passengers self-evacuated. They were able to leave the airplane, get on buses, and somehow make it to the terminal, so that would suggest to you that 200 -- nearly 200 of these passengers seem to be in pretty good condition. Seventy-seven Korean nationals on that flight, 141 Chinese nationals, 61 United States citizens, so that's where we are John, and as I said, that NTSB crew expected to land in about an hour, and of course tomorrow's going to be a very, very day for them. John.

KING: And then some of the information they will want is from the first responders who got there. I know the fire chief has briefed a couple times out there. As we watch these pictures and we see the foam, and we see the fire apparatus putting out the fire, the smoke still coming from it, what was the take of those first responders on when they -- when they got there at that second as the plane was starting to burst into flames?

SIMON: You know, John, it appears that -- that the survivors were able to get out of the plane even before the first responders arrived. If you look at some of the pictures, you can see, you can see the passengers away from that airplane. I -- I think what they were able to do, is to secure the scene, to transport people to the hospital immediately from the scene, and if there were any people who had, you know, broken limbs for instance, if they were able to -- they were able to get them out of the plane. I -- as we've said it before, and many other situations, the first responders always deserve a lot of credit for the work that they do, they seem to have done a really admirable job in this case, and also a lot of credit, one would think, would go to the flight crew, because you know, at the end of the day, of course, you had two people had died, but as we've been saying all day long, John, and as the mayor put it to us earlier, "this could have been much, much worse".

KING: Dan Simon, force on the ground at SFO, San Fransisco International Airport, can't disagree with that at all. You look at these pictures, they're just traumatic, could have been worse. And it's very hard to imagine what it would have been like aboard that flight. Right now dozens of patients still being treated at San Fransisco's only level one trauma center, that's San Fransisco General Hospital. Kyung Lah has been there, and she talked with a man who survived the ill-fated flight, and was just released from that hospital. Kyung, tell us about talking to Ben Levy.

KYUNG LAH: Really an extraordinary story, he was actually wearing the shirt that he was wearing when the plane went down. You could see that there were blood stains on his back. He had a wound to the back of his head, but he was still walking. He is what hospital describes as walking wounded, and he has an extraordinary story to tell. He felt the plane, he felt the tail hit the ground, and described an almost like a bizarre roller coaster ride. Here's what he told us.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP) LEVY: It's like Six Flags show, right, you're tied up to your chair, and then again we're skipping on the runway, and I thought that we were going back up, but what would we go back for, and start flying again, you know, try to improvise another landing, but we went back down again, so it was, as I say -- it felt like slow motion. I was still tied to my chair, until I unbuckled, but our chair and the whole row was completely crushed on the chairs behind.


LAH: A man with an extraordinary story, and he says he is very lucky. He was sitting right by the exit doors, he was helping other passengers as they were sliding out of those chutes, and he says, like we heard from Dan Simon, that the fire didn't start until most of the passengers were off the plane. They say they are very fortunate. A lot of the passengers we've seen here look quite dazed, John, something we should add, is that the most serious patients did come to this hospital. Fifteen were admitted, out of the 53 who arrived here, six of them remain in critical condition. John.

KING: Six still in critical condition, and Kyung, as you get updates on those patients, and those who've been treated and allowed to leave, what seems to be the most prevalent, and did hospital officials say anything surprised them about the types of injuries that came in?

LAH: You know, what they -- what they kept talking about were these spinal injuries, and it's something that, you know, you're used to seeing bumps and bruises in types of trauma accidents like car accidents. What surprised them was seemed to sort of take -- the ER doctor -- he took a step back from his spinal crush injuries. When you fall at a rapid rate, and your head hits the top of the ceiling, he says that it's consistent with that sort of injury. And so that's something he talked about quite a bit, but he also talked about the smoke inhalation issues. Those are the two big concerns for the doctors from this point forward, treating those critically injured patients. John.

KING: Kyung Lah on the ground for us at San Fransisco General Hospital. Thanks, Kyung, for a long day on the assignment as well, tracking all of this. To recap, 291 passengers, 16 crew, on Asiana flight 214, two confirmed dead tonight. We'll continue to stay on top of this story. For our viewers here in the United States, a new day, we'll be back with more at 5 am Eastern. For international viewers, CNN Newsroom with Natalie Allen starts at the top of the hour, leave you now with pictures of the aftermath, the crash of Asiana flight 214.