News / Asia

South Korea Expresses Regret to China over Airline Crash Deaths

South Korea's President Park Geun-hye, June 6, 2013. (File)
South Korea's President Park Geun-hye, June 6, 2013. (File)
Daniel Schearf
South Korea's President Park Geun-Hye has sent a letter of regret to her Chinese counterpart over a Korean airliner crash in California that took the lives of two Chinese.  While the investigation is looking at the possibility of pilot error, the head of Asiana Airlines has rejected suggestions that the pilots lacked experience. 

South Korean president Park Geun-Hye offered condolences to the families of two Chinese teenage girls who died in the crash of Asiana Airlines flight 214.

More than half of the 300-some passengers and crew were injured in Saturday's crash-landing at San Francisco International Airport, some critically.

The two 16-year-olds were the only fatalities and found outside of the plane, which caught fire as it skidded down the runway.

An Asiana Airlines Boeing 777 plane is seen in this aerial image after it crashed while landing at San Francisco International Airport, July 6, 2013.An Asiana Airlines Boeing 777 plane is seen in this aerial image after it crashed while landing at San Francisco International Airport, July 6, 2013.
x
An Asiana Airlines Boeing 777 plane is seen in this aerial image after it crashed while landing at San Francisco International Airport, July 6, 2013.
An Asiana Airlines Boeing 777 plane is seen in this aerial image after it crashed while landing at San Francisco International Airport, July 6, 2013.
U.S. investigators say one of the victims may have been run over by an emergency vehicle responding to the crash.

Speaking ahead of a Tuesday Cabinet meeting in Seoul, President Park urged a full investigation into what caused the tragedy.

She says they have to be thorough in finding the cause of the incident and do their best to ensure safety problems will no longer occur.

The South Korean president on Monday sent a letter expressing regret over the deaths to Chinese President Xi Jinping.

The investigation has focused on the possibility of pilot error.

Investigators say the plane landed too slowly and the tail slammed into a sea-wall ahead of the runway and broke off. 

Asiana Airlines confirmed the pilot had only 43 hours of flying time on the type of plane involved, a Boeing 777, and it was his first time landing the craft in San Francisco.

The Korean airline also confirmed the pilot was being guided by a trainer who had just received his training license in June.

Yoon Young-doo (C), President and CEO of the Asiana Airlines, attends a news conference at the company's head office in Seoul, July 9, 2013.Yoon Young-doo (C), President and CEO of the Asiana Airlines, attends a news conference at the company's head office in Seoul, July 9, 2013.
x
Yoon Young-doo (C), President and CEO of the Asiana Airlines, attends a news conference at the company's head office in Seoul, July 9, 2013.
Yoon Young-doo (C), President and CEO of the Asiana Airlines, attends a news conference at the company's head office in Seoul, July 9, 2013.
But at a packed press conference at the airline's headquarters in Seoul, company president Yoon Young-doo  defended the pilots' experience.

He says Lee Jung-min, the instructor pilot, has flown to San Francisco 33 times in total and is an excellent pilot. Lee Kang-kook, who was the pilot, has flown to San Francisco 29 times when he was co-pilot of a 747, he says, and also did an excellent job as a pilot of 320s and 737s.

The head of Asiana was leaving Tuesday for the United States to meet with the National Transportation Safety Board.

U.S. and Korean investigators are working together on the crash.  Asiana is Korea's second largest airline after Korean Air.

Asiana's last passenger plane crash was in 1993 when a Boeing 737 crashed into a mountain south of Seoul in bad weather, killing 66 people.

  • This NTSB photo shows Investigator in Charge Bill English and Chairperson Deborah Hersman discussing the progress of the investigation into the crash of Asiana Airlines Flight 214 in San Francisco, July 9, 2013.
  • National Transportation Safety Board investigators assess the wreckage of Asiana Airlines Flight 214, at San Francisco International Airport.
  • The interior of the Asiana Airlines Flight 214 that crashed at San Francisco International Airport.
  • A survivor of the Asiana Airlines crash in San Francisco is escorted by police after disembarking from a flight at Incheon international airport in Seoul, July 8, 2013.
  • Students of the Jiangshan Middle School light candles to form a heart shape and initials of the victims Yang Mengyuan and Wang Linjia of the Asiana Airlines crash, in Quzhou, Zhejiang province July 8, 2013.
  • An aircraft lands behind the wreckage of the Asiana Airlines plane at San Francisco International Airport, July 8, 2013.
  • U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigators stand at the scene of the Asiana Airlines Flight 214 crash site at San Francisco International Airport, July 7, 2013. (NTSB)
  • A National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator looks at the tail section of the Asiana Airlines Flight 214 that crashed at San Francisco International Airport, July 7, 2013. (NTSB)
  • An Asiana Airlines Boeing 777 is seen after it crashed while landing at San Francisco International Airport on July 6, 2013. 
  • This aerial photo shows the crash site of Asiana Flight 214 at the San Francisco International Airport in San Francisco, July 6, 2013.

You May Like

Kurdish President: More Needed to Defeat Islamic State

In interview with VOA's Persian Service, Massoud Barzani says peshmerga forces have not received weapons, logistical support needed to successfully fight IS in northern Iraq More

Sierra Leone's Stray Dog Population Doubles During Ebola Crisis

Many dog owners fear their pets could infect them with the virus and have abandoned them, leading to the increase and sparking fears of rabies More

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

New methods for mapping pain in the brain not only validate sufferers of chronic pain but might someday also lead to better treatment More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: zflynn from: USA
July 09, 2013 10:12 PM
Park Geun-Hye looks like everyone's kindly neighborhood mom. How can anyone be undiplomatic to her and not feel like a rat?

by: Davis K. Thanjan from: New York
July 09, 2013 5:31 PM
The contention of the President of Asiana Airline that the pilot is experienced is half truth. Though the pilot has experience with Boeing 320, 737, 747 with several landings in San Francisco airport, the pilot does not have adequate experience for landing Boeing 777 in San Francisco airport. The difference is driving a car, bus, truck, oil tanker, container truck, sixteen wheeler and a triple decker used for transporting cars. The driver or pilot need experience and special license for driving each category of transportation on the ground or in the air. The Asiana Airlines pilot was just a trainee and does not have the experience to be pilot for a Boeing777 landing in San Francisco airport. Asiana Airline will pay dearly for the short cuts on the safety of passengers. An apology by South Korea for the death of two Chinese girls is not enough. Their family, those injured and other passengers have to be compensated.
In Response

by: Nick from: Dovan
July 10, 2013 1:54 AM
Hey there…

I am a Pilot and that is the worst comparison you have. The difference is more like Smart car and BMW 7 series. Not car and bus etc….

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Paini
X
Shelley Schlender
April 20, 2015 7:03 PM
Pain has a purpose - it can stop you from touching a flame or from walking on a broken leg. As an injury heals, the pain goes away. Usually. But worldwide, one out of every five people suffers from pain that lasts for months and years, leading to lost jobs, depression, and rising despair when medical interventions fail or health experts hint that a pain sufferer is making it up. From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.
Video

Video Hope, Prayer Enter Fight Against S. Africa Xenophobia

South Africa has been swept by disturbing attacks on foreign nationals. Some blame the attacks on a legacy of colonialism, while others say the economy is to blame. Whatever the cause, ordinary South Africans - and South African residents from around the world - say they're praying for the siege of violence to end. Anita Powell reports from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Italy Rescues Migrants After Separate Deadly Capsize Incident

Italy continued its massive search and rescue operation in the Mediterranean Monday for the capsized boat off the coast of Libya that was carrying hundreds of migrants, while at the same time rescuing Syrian migrants from another vessel off the coast of Sicily. Thirteen children were among the 98 Syrian migrants whose boat originated from Turkey on the perilous journey to Europe.
Video

Video New Test Set to Be Game Changer in Eradicating Malaria

The World Health Organization estimates 3.4 billion people are at risk of malaria, with children under the age of five and pregnant women being the most vulnerable. As World Malaria Day approaches (April 25), mortality rates are falling, and a new test -- well into the last stage of trials -- is having positive results in Kenya. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA from Nairobi.
Video

Video Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?

Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Overwhelmed by Migrants, Italy Mulls Military Action to Stabilize Libya

Thousands more migrants have arrived on the southern shores of Italy from North Africa in the past two days. Authorities say they expect the total number of arrivals this year to far exceed previous levels, and the government has said military action in Libya might be necessary to stem the flow. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Putin Accuses Kyiv of ‘Cutting Off’ Eastern Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his annual televised call-in program, again denied there were any Russian troops fighting in Ukraine. He also said the West was trying to ‘contain’ Russia with sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports on reactions to the president’s four-hour TV appearance.
Video

Video Eye Contact Secures Dog's Place in Human Heart

Dogs serve in the military, work with police and assist the disabled, and have been by our side for thousands of years serving as companions and loyal friends. We love them. They love us in return. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports on a new study that looks at the bio-chemical bond that cements that human-canine connection.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Search for Bodies of Missing Soldiers

As the cease-fire becomes more fragile in eastern Ukraine, a team of volunteer body collectors travels to the small village of Savur Mohyla in the what pro-Russian separatists call the Donetsk Peoples Republic - to retrieve bodies of fallen Ukrainian servicemen from rebel-held territories. Adam Bailes traveled with the team and has this report.
Video

Video Xenophobic Violence Sweeps South Africa

South Africa, long a haven for African immigrants, has been experiencing the worst xenophobic violence in years, with at least five people killed and hundreds displaced in recent weeks. From Johannesburg, VOA’s Anita Powell brings us this report.
Video

Video Apollo 13, NASA's 'Successful Failure,' Remembered

The Apollo 13 mission in 1970 was supposed to be NASA's third manned trip to the moon, but it became much more. On the flight's 45th anniversary, astronauts and flight directors gathered at Chicago's Adler Planetarium to talk about how the aborted mission changed manned spaceflight and continues to influence space exploration today. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Badly Burned Ukrainian Boy Bravely Fights Back

A 9-year-old Ukrainian boy has returned to his native country after intensive treatment in the United States for life-threatening burns. Volodia Bubela, burned in a house fire almost a year ago, battled back at a Boston hospital, impressing doctors with his bravery. Faith Lapidus narrates this report from VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko.
Video

Video US Maternity Leave Benefits Much Less Than Many Countries

It was almost 20 years ago that representatives of 189 countries met at a UN conference in Beijing and adopted a plan of action to achieve gender equality around the world. Now, two decades later, the University of California Los Angeles World Policy Analysis Center has issued a report examining what the Beijing Platform for Action has achieved. From Los Angeles, Elizabeth Lee has more.
Video

Video Endangered Hawaiian Birds Get Second Chance

Of the world's nearly 9,900 bird species, 13 percent are threatened with extinction, according to BirdLife International. Among them are two Hawaiian honeycreepers - tiny birds that live in the forest canopy, and, as the name implies, survive on nectar from tropical flowers. Scientists at the San Diego Zoo report they have managed to hatch half a dozen of their chicks in captivity, raising hopes that the birds will flutter back from the brink of extinction. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Exhibit Brings Renaissance Master Out of the Shadows

The National Gallery of Art in Washington has raised the curtain on one of the most intriguing painters of the High Renaissance. Mostly ignored after his death in the early 1500s, Italian master Piero di Cosimo is now claiming his place alongside the best-known artists of the period. VOA’s Ardita Dunellari reports.

VOA Blogs