President Obama expressed gratitude to the first responders and sent his thoughts and prayers to victims of the airliner that hard-landed and caught fire on the runway at San Francisco International airport on Saturday.
At least two passengers were killed, and 182 of the 307 passengers were injured and taken to the hospital Saturday most with minor injuries. Five people, including one child, remained in critical condition at San Francisco General Hospital.
Asiana Airlines CEO Yoon Young-doo said the passengers who died were two Chinese teenage girls he believed were sitting in the back of the plane.
Soon after the crash occurred, a top aide informed the president of the accident, and he continued to be updated as new information became available, the White House said in a release Saturday night.
“The president expressed his gratitude for the first responders and directed his team to stay in constant contact with the federal, state and local partners as they investigate this event,” the White House said. “His thoughts and prayers go out to the families who lost a loved one and all of those affected by the crash.”
Early Saturday evening, the San Francisco fire chief said 60 people were unaccounted for, but later officials said all the passengers had been located.
It was the first large plane to crash-land in U.S. airspace since November 2001, when an American Airlines Airbus A200 crashed on takeoff from John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, killing all 260 people aboard, as well as five people on the ground.
FBI officials said there was “no indication of terrorism” and the incident is under investigation. Federal aviation and transportation officials headed to the scene Saturday while Asiana, Boeing and the engine manufacturer, Pratt & Whitney, pledged to work with them.
This article was based in part on wire reports.