Vietnamese on crashed Asiana plane identified

The only Vietnamese on board an Asiana Airlines plane that crashed while landing Saturday (US time, Sunday Vietnam time) at the San Francisco International Airport has been identified as a woman hailing from the southern province of Ben Tre.

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Dang Thi Hien, 37, phoned her parents in Vietnam, saying she and her family were OK just a few hours after the Boeing 777, which had come from Shanghai via Seoul, was engulfed in flames following the crash, her father Le Minh Tham told Tuoi Tre on Tuesday.

“She said over the phone that there was an accident while the plane was landing but she and her family were intact,” Tham said.

Tham added that the South Korean carrier contacted him on Monday to verify Hien’s family background.

Both the father and Asiana Airlines confirmed that Hien was traveling with her husband, a US citizen, and their seven-year-old son on the flight OZ 214.

Hien has lived in the US for ten years and she still holds Vietnamese citizenship.

US authorities are investigating the cause of the crash which killed 2 and injured more than 180 out of 307 people aboard, 291 of whom were passengers.

Terrorism and engine failure have been ruled out as a reason for this accident while experts have cited pilot error as the most likely cause.

All four pilots controlling the aircraft have been interviewed by investigators who said that the plane was approaching the runway too low and slow.

U.S. safety officials elaborated that the vehicle was flying 25 percent below its intended air speed before slamming into the ground.

One of the four pilots, Lee Kang-kuk, was then in training on Boeing 777 jets, the South Korean airline said. Lee had a mere 43 hours of experience flying the long-range jet, Asiana added.

Founded in 1988, Asiana Airlines has a very good safety record, with Saturday’s crash in San Francisco being its first fatal passenger jet accident since a deadly one 20 years ago, AFP reported.

Its worst-ever accident was a Boeing 737 crashing into a mountain in the southwest of South Korea in June 1993 and killing 68 people, according to the French news agency.

Asiana had another fatal accident in July 2011 when one of its Boeing 744 cargo planes went down off South Korea’s southern island of Jeju, claiming the lives of a pilot and one crew member.

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