The crash landing of Asiana Airlines Flight 214 at San Francisco’s International Airport on Saturday could have been an even greater tragedy than it was.
Authorities say that two passengers on the Boeing (BA) 777 were killed in the accident and 180 others were injured. However, aviation experts indicated that the robust design of the 777 ultimately may have prevent a much higher casualty toll. Flight 214 was carrying 307 passengers and crew when the accident happened, Reuters noted.
Despite the hard impact with the edge of the runway, which cause the plane’s tail section to separate and sent the plane into a tumultuous spin, the fuselage remained intact, giving passengers time to flee the jet before fire consumed part of the cabin.
The incident marked the first major airliner crash in the U.S. in more than three years and the first fatalities recorded on a 777 in 18 years.
Investigators are reviewing the circumstances of Flight 214’s demise. According to the Chairwoman of the National Transportation Safety Board, preliminary data did not reveal a mechanical problem with the plane, which appears to have approached the runway at too low an altitude and too slowly.
Many experts are already pointing to the possibility of pilot error in the accident.
Earlier this year, global aviation regulators grounded all of Boeing’s new 787 Dreamliner jets after a series of incidents linked to their lithium-ion batteries.
Shares of Boeing slipped fractionally in Monday morning trading.