Plane, engines not at fault in Asiana crash: CEO

SEOUL Sun Jul 7, 2013 8:07am EDT

Yoon Young-doo, President of the Asiana Airline, speaks to the media during a news conference at its head office in Seoul July 7, 2013. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

Yoon Young-doo, President of the Asiana Airline, speaks to the media during a news conference at its head office in Seoul July 7, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Kim Hong-Ji

SEOUL (Reuters) - Asiana Airlines does not believe that the fatal crash of one of its Boeing 777 planes in San Francisco on Saturday was caused by mechanical failure, although it refused to be drawn on whether the fault lay with pilot error.

"For now, we acknowledge that there were no problems caused by the 777-200 plane or (its) engines," Yoon Young-doo, the president and CEO of the airline, told a media conference on Sunday at the company headquarters.

Asiana said the two people who died in the crash were female Chinese teenagers who had been seated at the back of the aircraft.

Yoon declined to comment directly on whether the crash was due to pilot error but said the three captains on the aircraft had been fully trained in compliance with Korean regulations and had more than 10,000 flying hours of experience between them.

Yoon also declined to say whether he believed the crash could have been caused by an error by air traffic controllers at San Francisco.

Initial reports said two people were killed and more than 70 injured when the Asiana Airlines Boeing 777 crashed on landing at San Francisco International Airport.

If confirmed, it would be the first fatal accident involving a Boeing 777, a family of twin-engined long-haul aircraft which has been in service for the past 18 years.

With more than five million flights, according to Boeing, it remains one of the industry's solid workhorses.

(Reporting by Hyunjoo Jin; Writing by David Chance; Editing by Paul Tait)

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