Feb 25 U.S. regulators fined Asiana Airlines Inc
$500,000 on Tuesday for failing to assist the
families of passengers on a flight that crashed in San Francisco
in July in which three people were killed and more than 180
The Boeing 777, en route from Seoul, hit a seawall short of
the runway at San Francisco airport, broke apart and caught on
"Asiana's response to the crash of flight 214 indicates that
the carrier failed to commit sufficient resources to carry out
its family assistance plan," the U.S. Department of
Transportation said in a statement.
Federal law requires that airlines provide certain services
to passengers and their families in the event of a crash. The
DOT said it was the first time it issued a fine under that law.
For almost a day following the July 6 crash, Asiana failed
to publicize widely a telephone number where family members
could get information, the department said.
In addition, Asiana took two full days to contact the
families of just three-quarters of the passengers, the DOT said,
adding that the families of several passengers were not
contacted until five days after the crash.
Asiana also took two days to send a sufficient number of
trained personnel to San Francisco and initially lacked an
adequate number of staff able to communicate in the languages
spoken by the flight's passengers, the department said.
"Asiana provided extensive support to the passengers and
their families following the accident and will continue to do
so," the company said in an emailed statement to Reuters.
Not until five days following the crash did Asiana have the
resources necessary to carry out all of its responsibilities
under federal law.
"In the very rare event of a crash, airlines have a
responsibility to provide their full support to help passengers
and their families by following all the elements of their family
assistance plans," U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx
said in a statement.
"The last thing families and passengers should have to worry
about at such a stressful time is how to get information from
The Asiana crash was the first fatal commercial aircraft
accident in the United States since February 2009.
The National Transportation Safety Board is still
investigating the accident.