Plane On Popular Tech Route From Seoul-To-SF Crash Lands at SFO

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An Asiana Airlines flight that follows a popular route in the tech industry between Shanghai, Seoul and San Francisco crash-landed at San Francisco International Airport this morning, killing two people.

A Samsung executive who was aboard the flight, David Eun, reported that most passengers seemed unharmed in a photo he posted on Path.

Benjamin Levy, who is a partner at seed-stage firm Bootstrap Labs, was also on the flight and tweeted this photo earlier. He posted earlier that he is getting a CT scan for internal bleeding, but he’s now headed home.

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg was almost on the flight, but switched to a United flight in order to use frequent flyer miles for her family.

We do not know if anyone else from our community was on board that plane, but Seoul-to-San Francisco is a pretty highly trafficked route for tech workers who work for or do business with Samsung or any number of the larger gaming companies there. The flight originated in Shanghai, China, and landed in Seoul before arriving at San Francisco at approximately 11:30 a.m. today.

Update: In a press conference held this evening, San Francisco mayor Ed Lee said that responders had finally accounted for all 307 passengers aboard, after not being able to account for 60 people earlier this afternoon.

The city confirmed two fatalities with about 181 people transported to local hospitals from the scene. The two dead were found outside of the plane, as the tail had ripped off upon landing.

Of the 181 people who were injured, 49 are in serious condition. One hundred thirty two of those 181 people were transported to hospitals later on after being triaged for minor injuries. They said it was not necessary for another 123 passengers to require hospitalization.

Asiana Airlines issued a statement earlier today saying that there were 291 passengers aboard with 19 in business class, 272 in economy and 16 crew members. The airline says it is still investigating the cause of the crash. Asiana said that there were 77 Korean, 141 Chinese, 61 American and 1 Japanese citizens on the flight.

Eun, who runs Samsung’s Open Innovation Center, said he and many other passengers cleared customs earlier this afternoon, despite many leaving their baggage and presumably their passports back on the plane. He said in a post on Path this afternoon: “Just went through customs. Adrenaline rush is subsiding. Just trying to process all this. Really glad that most everyone I saw seemed ok, with just a few minor injuries. Thinking a lot about family and friends right now…”

Sandberg said she nearly took the flight, which was run by Asiana Airlines and took off from Seoul at 4:35 p.m. local time, with her family. But she changed airlines in order to use United frequent flyer miles for her family. She had been in South Korea, promoting her best-selling book “Lean In.”

She posted earlier today:

“Taking a minute to be thankful and explain what happened. My family, colleagues Debbie Frost, Charlton Gholson and Kelly Hoffman and I were originally going to take the Asiana flight that just crash-landed. We switched to United so we could use miles for my family’s tickets. Our flight was scheduled to come in at the same time, but we were early and landed about 20 minutes before the crash. Our friend David Eun was on the Asiana flight and he is fine.

Thank you to everyone who is reaching out – and sorry if we worried anyone.

Serious moment to give thanks.”

It’s not clear why or how the plane crash-landed, but the tail apparently ripped off after the plane touched down too early on the runway. One witness told the Associated Press that the plane spun down the runway after taking an unusually steep descent.

SFO had suspended all flights earlier today for a few hours, with some apparently being diverted to Oakland and Las Vegas. They reopened two runways later in the afternoon.