Days after Asiana Airlines Flight 214 crashed at San Francisco International Airport, the wreckage remains strewn along Runway 28L, plainly visible to those landing on a parallel runway.
The burned fuselage of the Boeing 777, along with pieces of its tail and other parts of the plane, are a jarring reminder for arriving travelers of what happened on Saturday.
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash, which killed two 16-year-old girls from China and sent about 180 others to area hospitals. Four victims remained in critical condition today.
Runway 28L was shut down after the accident and will likely remain closed for the rest of the week as the crash is probed and the runway cleaned up and repaired, airport officials said.
Meanwhile, passengers on other planes are feeling shaken as they catch a glimpse of the wreckage.
Half Moon Bay resident Lisa Repetto flew into SFO over the weekend. She happened to be sitting in the window seat and took a video of the charred hull of Flight 214 as her plane passed by the crash site.
“I could see pieces of the tail still on the runway,” she said.
Repetto said the sight left her feeling anxious. Once she was off the plane, she said, “I was emotional, knowing there were these fatalities.”
The two girls killed have been identified as Ye Meng Yuan and Wang Lin Jia, good friends who were on their way to a Southern California summer camp with dozens of other teens from China.
San Francisco resident Michelle Allbon, 24, was flying back from a visit to San Diego on Sunday afternoon and didn’t expect to see the burned plane as she landed.
“There was a weird eerie silence” among the passengers on her flight, she said. “I expected it to be more cleaned up.”
She compared seeing the wreckage to driving past an accident on the freeway, but said this was a bit more jarring because of how unusual a plane crash is.
“This really is an anomaly,” Allbon said. “People with kids were especially on edge.”
Others posted on social media about similar experiences.
This morning, one Twitter user posted, “Landed close to the wreckage of flight 214 … Runway still full of debris, unsettling to say the least.”
Another person tweeted, “FYI, the wreckage of the Asiana incident is still on the runway at SFO. Not the most calming thing to see as you’re preparing to land.”
Sasha Lekach, Bay City News