The crew of Asiana Flight 214 waited 90 seconds after the crash landing to began evacuating the plane, investigators said this afternoon in a press conference.
National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Debbie Hersman said that based on interviews of the pilots and six of the flight attendants, the pilots did not order an evacuation right away.
They waited, they said, to consult with air traffic control before opening the doors.
That is not uncommon, according to Hersman. A flight attendant used the public announcement system to tell passengers to remain seated.
Once a flight attendant noticed a fire outside the aircraft, the evacuation began immediately.
The flight attendants worked to get all of the passengers out of the Boeing 777 as quickly as possible, and to fight the fire once it entered the cabin. Emergency responders arrived on the scene about two minutes after the crash.
The Federal Aviation Administration requires it be possible to fully evacuate a plane within 90 seconds.
Two of the emergency slides deployed inside the cabin, Hersman said. Each one trapped and injured a flight attendant.
Of the plane’s flight crew, all survived, and six of the twelve flight attendants were hospitalized. Three were ejected from the back of the plane after the tail broke off during impact.
Two of the 305 people on board the plane were killed in the accident, both were 16-year-old Chinese girls.
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