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NTSB via Twitter

Investigators examine 'black box' from San Francisco plane crash

See their initial pictures.

THE BLACK BOX of the San Francisco crash aeroplane has already been recovered and examined by investigators at the National Transport Safety Board in the US.

The data recorders were sent to a Washington DC lab for examination as the team tries to figure out what caused the Asiana Airlines Flight 214 to crash and catch fire. They showed that as the Boeing 777 approached the runway its pilots were warned that the aircraft was likely to stall and asked to abort the landing.

Seconds later, the plane struck the ground, tearing off the tail, landing gear and one of its engines, and bursting into flames.

A number of eye-witness accounts have suggested that the plane was flying too low as it approached the runway, while investigators have said it was going slower than the recommended landing speeds.

Chairwoman Deborah Hersman said the request to abort the landing was captured on the cockpit voice recorder 1.5 seconds before the plane crashed.

The plane was landing at a speed well below the recommended 137 knots, she added.

We are not talking about a few knots here or there. We’re talking about a significant amount of speed below 137.

Two teenage girls were killed in Saturday’s accident, while another 182 were injured – many seriously. There have been reports that one of the victims may have been run over by an airport fire engine rushing to the scene.

“As it possibly could have happened, based on the injuries sustained, it could have been one of our vehicles that added to the injuries, or another vehicle,” Hayes-White told the San Francisco Chronicle.

That could have been something that happened in the chaos. It will be part of our investigation.

The initial findings come as the airline confirmed that the 46-year-old pilot Lee Kang-Kuk, had clocked up 9,000 hours flying time but was still undergoing training as he only had 43 hours of 777 experience.

“It’s true that Lee was on transition training for the Boeing 777,” an Asiana spokeswoman told AFP on Monday. However, he was accompanied by an experienced trainer, who acted as co-pilot.

The Federal Aviation Administration is also investigating the incident, with the FBI is offering assistance.

The NTSB, which investigates accidents in aviation, highway, marine, rail and pipelines across the country, has appointed senior official Bill English as investigator-in-charge. Once its probe is complete, the body can make recommendations to improve transportation safety for everyone.

The NTSB has been posting pictures of its work at the site of the partially burnt-out plane on Twitter:

Investigators examine 'black box' from San Francisco plane crash
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Canada: 40 people still missing in runaway train blast, five bodies found

Read: At least 2 paralysed in San Francisco plane crash

In pictures: The jet crash in San Francisco that killed two and injured 182

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