Flight 214 Crash: SFO Custodians Begin To Clear Debris

A clean-up crew at San Francisco International Airport has begun clearing debris from the deadly Asiana Airlines Flight 214 crash, an airport spokesman said.

The National Transportation Safety Board has control of Runway 28L and it remains closed during the investigation, but airport custodians have been allowed to start cleaning a peripheral area of the runway, airport spokesman Doug Yakel said.

See all SF Appeal coverage of the crash of Asiana Airlines Flight 214 here.

Yakel said investigators have already combed through the outer sections and gave airport staff the OK to begin a partial cleanup.

Crews headed out Tuesday and began picking up small debris.

Yakel said the cleaning process is within the scope of the duties of custodians, who usually work in the terminals.

The debris that is picked up is being thrown out, and does not need to be saved for the investigation, Yakel said.

Yakel called these initial efforts a small element of the entire cleanup operation.

“The big work still lies ahead,” he said.

He said the NTSB has indicated that the runway will likely remain closed through the end of this week.

Airport Director John Martin said in a statement today, “The airport’s primary goal at this point is to reopen Runway 28L as quickly as possible. I want to thank all of our passengers and our airlines for their patience. We will work round the clock to make all the necessary repairs.”

The work that still needs to be done includes cleaning up spilled jet fuel, checking electrical systems, repairing runway lights and fixing damage to the seawall, airport officials said. The FAA will also conduct test flights to re-certify the runway for use.

Sasha Lekach, Bay City News

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