The flight accident of Asiana Airline’s Boeing-777 aircraft in San Francisco Airport made headline news in most of Korean newspapers on July 7th 2013. The crash resulted in two casualties, as well as a wide range of injuries to at least half of the passengers on the plane. It took 10 minutes after the initial crash for the aircraft to explode, and much more casualties would have been inevitable if it wasn’t for the flight attendants and a few brave souls who swiftly evacuated the passengers out of the site.
The two deaths that resulted from the accidents were two Chinese students who had planned to attend an overseas English program in the UC system and Stanford. It is speculated that the two students have not fastened their seat-belts during the turmoil. President Xi Jinping of China has expressed his attention to this incident by softly demanding the truth of the matter.
Usually, aircraft accidents of this magnitude results in high number of casualties, but in this particular case, out of 307 people on board, there were only two deaths; a significantly low number compared to past accidents of similar nature. Though a tragic incident in itself, it is a relief that not too many were sacrificed. “I heard about the accident while I was working,” said Ryan Jang, a UCSD pre-med student. “At first, I was told that there were no casualties, but after I found out that there were two. I’m kind of relieved that there were not too many casualties”.
The US officials who reviewed the content of the blackbox installed inside the aircraft blames the head pilot for the accident, whereas the Korean government is insisting that there is insufficient evidence for the case. The Korean government is currently placing weight on aircraft malfunctioning and conducting an extensive investigation on all of the accessible Boeing-777.
Many Koreans in the San Diego Community were shocked by the tragic news and were also very worried on how Americans would perceive Korea due to this accident. “My main concern is that the US public will see the Korean community with a negative perspective. The images of Koreans are in large part constructed by the successful companies such as Samsung and Asiana, and I hope this incident doing not change their perspectives” states Jang.
Mike Kwak, a relator in the San Diego area added “At first we thought it may have been an engine or weather problem at first, but as we followed the reports, we found out that it may have been a pilot error. I just want the public to know that from my experience, Asiana is very well trained, and this incident proves my point. Though the pilot made a mistake, the attendants quickly took the situation and saved many lives in a relatively short amount of time. Accidents happen from time to time, and this accident will not stop me from taking this route because I trust in the quality of the service. I will continue to take the Incheon=>San Fran Boeing-777 route, and I hope the public feels the same way. 20 years ago, Delta Airlines experienced a similar accident in Dallas, but I didn’t lose faith in Delta Airlines, because I knew it was a reliable airline — again, accidents happen. I wish for the best for the victims of the accident and hope Asiana never repeats its mistakes.”
Ashley, a pharmacist in San Diego, sends her encouraging message to the passengers in the accident. “My deepest condolences to the victims of the accident. I hope the victims pick themselves up from the trauma, and lead fulfilling constructive lives from here on”.
Right now there is an average of 250,000 people are in the air. Though mankind has been taking advantage by cutting transportation time across oceans and between continents by the use of the airplane, this fairly new invention still poses threat to our society’s public safety in numerous angles. Every time I come across news like this, I wonder if technological advancement for efficiency and comfort is all in all beneficial for mankind.
Written by Brian Kim
Edited by Millie