SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Sunday marks the one year anniversary of the Asiana Airlines plane crash at San Francisco International Airport, and now, for the first time, the “first” first responders to arrive on scene are being acknowledged publicly for their heroism.
On July 6, 2013 at about 11:30 a.m., Asiana Airlines Flight 214 crashed upon arrival at SFO. It was a chaotic scene, as many KCBS listeners described.
“There was just this loud boom, and just the smoke,” said one caller.
“Two emergency chutes deployed, so hopefully people are able to go out,” said another witness.
Within two minutes of the initial impact, and nearly a minute before the first fire truck arrived, Airfield Safety Officers Henry Choy and Alexis Esguerra were there.
“And they risked their lives carrying children and adults and flight attendants, even on their backs, to get them to safety,” said San Francisco Supervisor Eric Mar.
Mar is sponsoring the agenda item that will honor Choy, Esguerra and the four other Airfield Safety Officers who were on duty that day at SFO during Tuesday’s San Francisco Board of Supervisors meeting. He said it is unfortunate that, until now, their efforts have not been acknowledged.
“Every employee that is a first responder, that deals with public safety, should be honored,” Mar said. “Not just the police and firefighters, but these Airfield Safety Officers as well. They are really courageous people and I’m really glad that we’re finally honoring [them].”
The six Airport Safety Officers on duty last July 6 at SFO will receive commendations at Tuesday’s San Francisco Board of Supervisors meeting.
Three people died when the Boeing 777 crashed at SFO, and 180 others were injured.
Last month, the National Transportation Safety Board released its report on the crash, determining that the airplane descended below the visual glidepath due to the flight crew’s mismanagement of the approach and inadequate monitoring of airspeed. The NTSB also found that the complexities of the autothrottle and autopilot flight director systems, and the crew’s misunderstanding of those systems, contributed to the crash.