'Hero' Crew Member: SF Evacuation Began Badly
Slides inflated inside, pinning flight attendants down
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Jul 8, 2013 7:02 AM CDT
Updated Jul 8, 2013 7:59 AM CDT
Fire crews work the crash site of Asiana Flight 214 at San Francisco International Airport in San Francisco, Saturday, July 6, 2013.   (AP Photo/Bay Area News Group, John Green)

(Newser) – A 20-year Asiana veteran is the first crew member of the doomed Flight 214 to speak, and according to Lee Yoon-hye, the evacuation did not begin smoothly. But first came the hard landing, which the cabin manager describes as "a bang ... afterward, there was another shock and the plane swayed to the right and to the left." An evacuation was ordered, but she says two of the plane's slides inflated inside the cabin instead of outside, pinning two flight attendants to the floor. One appeared to be choking beneath the slide's weight; the two had to be rescued by crew members who used axes to deflate the slides.

One flight attendant slid to safety with a child on her back; one of the pilots helped a hurt flight attendant off the plane. The AP notes that police officers on the scene threw knives up to crew members inside the burning wreckage so they could cut away passengers' seat belts. USA Today reports that flight attendants undergo yearly training on evacuations, and a rep for their professional association calls it "incredible to see what these flight attendants were able to accomplish—with half the doors." As for Lee, she was apparently the last person to leave the plane, and continued helping passengers and putting out fires even though she had a broken tailbone; the city's fire chief calls her a "hero."

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Showing 3 of 16 comments
Jul 16, 2013 5:12 PM CDT
Lee Yoon Hye is one very brave and professional cabin manager. Too bad the man up in the pilot's seat wasn't up to her standards.
Jul 9, 2013 11:56 PM CDT
I was a flight attendant for 20yrs & that was 100% textbook evac procedures. I am SO proud of the F/A's on board flight 214. I have been flipping thru TV & cable channels & it's too bad that they very seldom mention the flight attendants. Maybe a sentence or two but that's it. It's all about Pilot error, that's all you hear them talk about. If they would explain ALL the training we had to go through maybe, just maybe the Flight Attendants would get some respect that they so deserve.
Jul 8, 2013 9:35 PM CDT
WOW WOW WOW Now that's real courage.