Transcript for Crash Landing in San Francisco
Welcome to this week. Crash landing. 214, the emergency vehicles are responding. San francisco. Splash down, then we went down hard. What went wrong? The latest details on the investigation. Plus chaos in the streets. Is egypt on the edge of civil war? We talk to a top leader of the muslim brotherhood, a wanted man in cairo, then the egyptian ambassador. On the road with president and mrs. Bush. The unscripted moments on their latest mission to africa, and the former president takes on his critics. I'm trying to think of the word, absurd psycho-babble. Plus cokie roberts on her conversation with two first ladies. You can't find your toothbrush, you don't know where your kids are. That's day one. Hello, george is off today. Good to have you with us. We are learning new details, but there are unanswered questions about asiana flight 214 in the moments before it smashed into a san francisco runway. Its tail ripping off, going up in flames. 307 people were on board, two confirmed dead. More than 180 injured. Abc's cecilia vega has been tracking the developments all night and joins us from san francisco. It is just remarkable that so many people ed. Reporter: Isn't it remarkable? Good morning. And especieeing the footage of the charred remains once the smoke cleared. We are learning more about the people on board the flight as well. The two victims were teenage girls from china on their way to the united states for a summer trip. 30 of the passengers were children. 61 people on board, american citizens, many of the -- those injured still in critical condition at this hour recovering in the hospital. Witnesses describe an absolutely terrifying landing. We spoke to one survivor who said it belly flopped on the runway and bounced. Take a listen. The engine roar. And then we hit really hard the first time. It sounded like we were going back up and then we went back down pretty hard. I was screaming, saying it's okay, help each other, don't rush, don't push, get out, get out, get out. Reporter: Now overnight t ceo of asiana denied it was a mechanical failure and defended the pilots saying they were veterans of flying. Between them they had 10,000 hours, more than that, combined flying experience. The ntsb investigators arrived overnight. This investigation, john, it's in the early stages. We don't have a cause yet. What we know is so many people who witnessed it said it's an absolute miracle that this many people survived. Thank you. For the latest, we are joined by the national safety board chair, debra hersman. She flew out last night. Thank you for joining us. What are you learned so far and have you spoken to the pilot yet? Our team just arrived on scene actually very late last night, around midnight. We went out and looked at the accident aircraft. We have not yet talked to the pilot. We hope to do that in the coming days, but we have obtained the dock bit pith and flight data recorder and they haeen sent back to our labs in washington. We hope there's good data and information on them and will audition them today back at headquarters. You have been out there for a few hours, it's still dark in san francisco. But based on what you have seen at the crash site, do you have a sense of what went wrong? You know, I'll tell you one of the things that is so obvious when you go out there is the incredible devastation to that aircraft. You have seen the photos and footage. A lot of burn damage to the fuselage, but we see a lot of damage to the aircraft seats and the interior of the aircraft. We are very thankful that as a result of this crash, we only have a small number of fatalities and injuries. It could have been a lot worse. And looking at what you've seen, and by the way, it is just astounding to look at the plane and think there were two fatalities and no more, but looking at it, does this look -- are we thinking pilot error? Mechanical? The fbi mediately able to rule out anything like terrorism. You know, it's really very early in the investigation. We just arrived on scene a few hours ago. We have a lot of work ahead of us. We have teams that will be looking at aircraft operations, at human performance, survival factors, and looking at the aircraft. Power plants, systems and structures. We want to make sure we have a good understanding of the facts before we reach a conclusion. So in other words, way too early to do what the asiana ceo when he said there were no problems caused by the plane or its engines. We prefer to base statements on facts. We have to review the data recorder and the voice recorder and document the scene before we draw conclusions. That being said, there's a lot of information to draw on. We have crew that survived, and potentially recorders that have 100 parameters on them. We are ago other to begin our investigative work. And we will be providing the public factual updates through this time we are on scene. Thank you very much for talking to us. Good luck with the investigation. Thank you.
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