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Saturday's crash landing of a Korean airliner arriving in San Francisco from Shanghai, which caused hundreds of injuries, proved fatal for two 16-year-olds girls from China. The students, who were on their way to summer camp, were reportedly seated in the rear of the plane, which lost its tail, skidded down the runway and burst into flames upon landing at San Francisco airport. In all, 182 people were hospitalized and 123 others escaped safely.
The cause of the crash is unknown, but it has been noted that the plane sent out no distress signal before the crash. Terrorism is not suspected.
Eyewitnesses interviewed by the New York Times described what they saw:
“It came in at a 30- or 45-degree angle and the tail was way, way lower than the nose,” said one. Another said, “I remember watching the nose go to the ground and the tail way up in the air and then the tail back to ground hard.”
UPDATE: Preliminary reports from the National Transportation Safety Board indicate that the plane approached the runway "too slow and too low" and that the pilots attempted to increase speed and then abort the landing just before impact.