The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board is looking for answers in the aftermath of the Asiana Airlines Boeing 777 crash on July 6th, which killed Ye Mengyuan and Wang Linjia, two 16-year-old Chinese students and gravely injured many more. The aircraft was carrying 291 passengers and 16 crewmembers from Seoul to San Francisco when its tail crashed into a seawall positioned just before the runway in the San Francisco Bay.This incident marks the first Boeing 777 crash in the aircraft’s history, dating back to 1995. Though Asiana Airlines has released a statement that they do not believe the accident to be a result of any mechanical failure with the plane, the NTSB is holding off from pointing fingers until a full investigation has been conducted. In the hours since the crash there have been speculation as to whether the pilot error or runway construction might be at fault.What is presently known is that the aircraft was traveling at “significantly” slower than target speed while approaching the runway, according to a NTSB report, and that there was a stall warning 4 seconds before the aircraft’s impact. 1.5 seconds before the impact the crew attempted to pull away from the runway, lifting the nose of the aircraft right before its tail crashed into the seawall.Autopsies are underway to determine the cause of Ms. Ye and Ms. Wang’s deaths. One of the girls is believed to have been ejected from the aircraft upon impact, and there is some evidence that she was then run over by an emergency vehicle rushing to the scene of the crash.Other passengers suffered head trauma and spinal fractures in addition to other injuries. It is estimated that over 180 passengers have sustained injuries from the crash.Our deepest sympathy goes out to these passengers and their families. We will continue to cover this story as more information is released, and we hope the NTSB conducts a thorough investigation that may yield information about the reasons for the crash and how tragedies like these can be avoided in the future.Source: Chicago Tribune, “Pilot of Crashed Asiana Plane was ‘In Training’ to Fly Boeing 777,” July 7, 2013.