Chinese jet crashes in South Korea
April 14, 2002 Posted: 11:35 PM EDT (0335 GMT)
SEOUL, South Korea (CNN) -- An Air China flight carrying 155 passengers and at least 10 crewmembers has crashed near South Korea's second largest city of Pusan.
South Korean television showed a photograph of an Air China jet broken in half and in flames.
Reports said the Boeing 767 crashed around 11:40 a.m. (0240 GMT) near Kimhae airport, which serves the port city of Pusan on the Sea of Japan.
Authorities said it crashed near a residential area containing apartment buildings, but there were no reports of any casualties on the ground.
Firefighters and rescue workers were on the scene.
CNN reports on the crash
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The flight took off from Beijing and was headed to Kimhae airport near Pusan.
Weather conditions at the time was poor, with fog, winds and rain. A number of international flights were turned back from the airport Monday morning as a result.
The crash comes just weeks before the soccer World Cup is co-hosted by South Korea and Japan.
Air China Crash Kills Over 100
Apr 15, 2002
Over 100 people are reported to have died when an Air China Boeing 767 crashed into a hillside in South Korea early today. As many as 50 of the 155 passengers and 11 crew are believed to have survived.
The plane, on a flight from the Chinese capital,Beijing, was attempting to land at Kimhae airport, which serves South Korea's second largest city, Pusan.
The 767-600 slammed into a mountain side as it attempted to land at the airport. Weather conditions were poor with visibility reduced by thick fog. Other flights had been diverted because of the adverse weather.
It is understood that most of those on board the flight were South Korean nationals.
One of the Boeing's black box flight recorders is reported have been recovered from the crash site, where rescuers were hampered by the poor visibility and smoke. Many of the survivors are reported to be in a serious condition.
This is the first fatal accident involving one of the state-owned carrier's aircrfat.
Beijing-based Air China is the Republic's biggest airline serving international, regional and domestic routes. It has a mixed fleet of Boeing and Airbus planes.
COMPANY PROFILE: Air China
April 15, 2002 Posted: 7:56 AM EDT (1156 GMT)
COMPANY: Headquartered in Beijing and set up in July 1 1988, Air China is the country's only national flag carrier and claims to have the largest cargo capacity in the world. It is China's largest air carrier, both in terms of traffic volume and company assets.
PLANES: Air China has 69 airplanes -- including 18 B747s, 7 B777s, 10 B767s and 26 B737s -- and operates 114 routes, including 43 international routes and 71 domestic ones, according its website. The total number of seats is over 13,600.
SCHEDULE: Air China operates more than 1,000 scheduled flights each week, serving 29 cities in 19 countries and most of the provincial capitals, major cities and tourist attractions in China.
WORKERS: The carrier has over 11,000 workers, including more than 1,300 pilots and 2,052 flight attendants.
FINANCIAL: Air China's registered capital is 1.5 billion yuan, and the total assets is 35.9 billion yuan.
SAFETY: Air China has not had any crashes, and in recognition of this achievement was awarded the ICAO 50th Anniversary Honorary Medal. China's State Council and Civil Aviation Administration also awarded the carrier with the 'National Safety Pacesetter' award.
ï¿½ INFOGRAPHIC: Boeing 767 aircraft
ï¿½ FACTSHEET: Air China
ï¿½ CHRONOLOGY: Asian air disasters
BRAND RECOGNITION: In 1995, the American Academy of Restaurant and Hospitality Sciences awarded Air China an international "Five Star Diamond award" for it's achievements in flight safety, customer service and quality operations. Air China is the first one to have gained this honor.
In the 1999 Brand Recognition contest in China, Air China ranked the first place among airlines that annually transports over 6 million passengers.
Source: Air China Web site
Many dead in S. Korean plane crash
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By Sang-Hun Choe
April 15, 2002 |
KIMHAE, South Korea (AP) -- An Air China airplane carrying 166 people crashed into a mountain in rain and fog Monday as it was preparing to land in South Korea's second largest city. Fifty-four people survived, police said.
The Boeing 767-200, on a direct flight from Beijing, was approaching Kimhae Airport near Busan when it hit the mountainside near a residential area, police said. There were no casualties on the ground, they said.
One survivor, Kim Mun-hak, 35, told the cable news network YTN that Flight CA-129 crashed shortly after an announcement advising passengers to buckle their seat belts.
"The plane crashed with a roaring sound, and I managed to come out from the plane, and I saw thick smoke and blaze," he said.
The plane hit one side of the 1,000-foot-high mountain and then plowed toward the peak, leaving a 30-yard-wide, 100-yard-long trail of fallen trees.
What's left of the plane looks like shredded pieces of paper. Burned plane parts were scattered for 300 yards in all directions. The plane's broken tail and nose rested near the top of the mountain. There were almost no seats left. The air reeked with burning oil.
Hundreds of police, military and civilian workers were combing through debris. However, their efforts were hampered by rain. Poor-quality roads slowed a land rescue.
Aviation officials said many of the survivors were passengers in the front part of the aircraft, indicating that the plane crashed with its tail and fuselage hitting the ground first.
Quoting survivors, police said there was no explosion on the plane before the crash, an indication that it was an accident, not an act of terrorism.
Television footage showed police and volunteers carrying survivors and bodies on stretchers down the mountain, which was shrouded in thick fog.
Bae Han-sol, 15, said the plane skimmed over his village with roaring sound and crashed soon afterward.
"We seldom see planes flying over our village, so I though it was strange that the plane, trembling, flew toward the mountain in fog," Bae said.
Bae was one of the first who reached the crash site. "Bodies were burning on the mud. Survivors were crying in pain," he said
A group of Air China officials including its president, Wang Kai-yuan, was headed to South Korea, said Kim Jung-hee, a spokeswoman for Air China's regional office in Busan.
There was no indication the plane's pilots put out distress calls before the crash. The pilot and two co-pilot were identified as Wu Ning, Hou Xiang Ning and Gao Li Jie. It was not immediately clear whether they had survived.
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