Fire Official: Ambulances Were at Asiana Crash Site

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - A San Francisco fire official says passengers who called 911 after an Asiana Airlines plane crashed at the airport may not have immediately seen ambulances at the scene because the vehicles were dispatched to a nearby staging area.

Fire spokeswoman Mindy Talmadge says that in multi-casualty accidents such as the Asiana crash, officials do not want to create more chaos at the scene by having ambulances swarm the area. So they are sent to a staging area instead, with first responders assessing people's needs and sending them to ambulances as needed.

Passengers aboard Asiana told 911 dispatchers that ambulances were slow to respond.

Talmadge says that within 18 minutes of receiving word of the crash, San Francisco officials had dispatched five ambulances and more than a dozen other rescue vehicles.


SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Emergency calls from people aboard a plane that crashed at San Francisco International Airport portray a scene of chaos, with passengers begging for help and saying ambulances weren't coming fast enough.

The California Highway Patrol released the 911 calls late Wednesday.
One caller tells a 911 dispatcher: "There are no ambulances here. We have been on the ground 20 minutes."

Another tells a dispatcher there's a woman on the runway with severe burns to her head. The caller says, "She will probably die soon if we don't get help."

Asiana Airlines Flight 214 crash-landed Saturday, killing two passengers and injuring many others as it skittered and spun 100 feet.
San Francisco officials say ambulances could not come too close out of concern that the plane would explode.