911 Caller Reporting 777 Crash: 'There are no Ambulances.'

July 11, 2013
Injured passengers pleaded with dispatchers to send more medics and ambulances.

July 11--As critically injured passengers lay on the runway near the wreckage of Asiana Airlines Flight 214, other passengers pleaded with emergency dispatchers to send ambulances to help the victims, according to 911 tapes released Wednesday.

The tapes, released by the California Highway Patrol, offer new information on the initial chaotic moments of Saturday's crash at San Francisco International Airport that left two people dead and 182 injured.

The callers first spoke with CHP dispatchers and then were transferred to medical and fire dispatchers in San Francisco.

"There are no ambulances here. We've been on the ground 20 minutes," one woman said on the tape, which was obtained by NBC Bay Area.

"There are people laying on the tarmac with critical injuries, head injuries," the woman continued. "We're almost losing a woman here. We're trying to keep her alive."

Another female passenger told a dispatcher that there were not enough medics to treat the injured.

"There are a bunch of people who need help, " the woman said, adding that one victim had severe burn injures. "She's really burned. She will probably die soon if she doesn't get help."

Another passenger calmly told a dispatcher that he was on a plane that had just crashed.

"Our airplane just crashed," he said. "We're in the middle of the runway."

One caller saw the smoke from the burning wreckage while driving northbound on the 101 Freeway. Another, a man who was hiking near Pacifica, said he heard a "giant explosion" and wanted to report a plane crash.

The emergency response by the San Francisco Fire Department will be among a number of areas investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board.

Board Chairwoman Deborah A.P. Hersman said Wednesday that the first fire truck arrived two minutes after the crash and began spraying foam a minute later.

San Francisco Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White told reporters earlier in the week that two dozen rescuers came from the agency's station at the airport and more than 100 others responded from San Francisco.

Those rescuers were aided by more than 100 San Francisco police officers and San Mateo County firefighters, officials said.

Copyright 2013 - Los Angeles Times

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