Terror and confusion on board Asiana jet

Terror and confusion on board Asiana jet
PROFESSIONAL NEGLIGENCE? Flight OZ162 from Incheon smashed into a communications antenna as it came in to land at Hiroshima Airport on Tuesday. All 73 passengers and eight crew members evacuated safely.

An Asiana Airlines plane smashed into a communications antenna as it came in to land at a Japanese airport on Tuesday, footage showed yesterday, injuring 27 people in an accident that recalled the South Korean airline's fatal 2013 crash in San Francisco.

Aerial footage from Hiroshima Airport in western Japan showed the localiser - a 6m high gate-like structure that sits around 300m from the start of the runway - splintered, with debris leading to the landing strip.

Sets of wheel marks were visible on the grass in front of the runway, while large fragments of the localiser - part of the instrument landing system - were on the tarmac.

Several hundred metres away, skid marks showed that the Airbus A320 had careered off the runway and rotated more than 90 degrees.

What appeared to be a chunk of the localiser was seen dangling from one wing, and emergency escape chutes were deployed.

Those on board Flight OZ162 from Incheon, near Seoul, to Hiroshima spoke of terror and confusion.

"There was smoke coming out and some of the oxygen masks fell down. Cabin attendants were in such a panic and I thought: 'We are going to die,' " a woman told Japanese networks late on Tuesday, adding that some people were bleeding.

A man wearing a neck brace said he "saw flames, and smoke filled the plane".

All 73 passengers and eight crew members evacuated safely but 27 people were injured, Japanese officials said.

Hiroshima police have started an on-site investigation on suspicion of professional negligence resulting in injuries, Jiji Press said.

An Asiana spokesman said in Seoul the firm was checking Japanese news reports that said the flight had approached the runway at a lower altitude than normal before it grazed the communications tower.

The accident recalled an Asiana flight that crashed in San Francisco in July 2013, killing three people and leaving 182 injured.

United States investigators concluded that a mismanaged landing approach in a highly automated cockpit was the probable cause of the accident, in which a Boeing 777 clipped a sea wall with its landing gear, and then crashed and burst into flames.

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