Shock and survival: Asiana plane crash through the eyes of child - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Shock and survival: Asiana plane crash through the eyes of children

Posted:
Highlights
  • "We were all bouncing all over the place," 15-year-old Esther Jang says
  • Esther and her younger siblings called for their parents, who moaned in response
  • The family had to take different exists amid the chaos
  • "When we all reunited ... I was really glad, so I started crying," Joseph said.

By Sara Sidner and Holly Yan

SAN FRANCISCO (CNN) -- After 10 long hours in the sky, the Jang children couldn't wait to get off the plane.

The Colorado siblings had just spent a month in Seoul, their first trip to South Korea. Their parents wanted them to get a taste of their heritage on their summer vacation.

But their summer vacation will now be remembered for something entirely different.

Joseph, Ester and Sarah were passengers on Asiana Airlines Flight 214 from Seoul to San Francisco.

Seconds before landing Saturday, the Boeing 777 crashed onto a sea wall, severing its tail.

The three were all near the back of the plane, which bore the brunt of the impact.

Joseph Jang (CNN Newsource)

"During the time it was crashing, I thought it was all like a dream because I didn't know (if) it was actually happening," 13-year-old Joseph told CNN's Sara Sidner.

"We were all bouncing all over the place," 15-year-old Esther added. "I just remember there being dust everywhere. I was freaking out, and then it just stopped."

The seats in front of them collapsed across their knees. Luggage and debris littered the cabin.

Esther Jang (CNN Newsource)

"After everything stopped and then I realized I was alive, I looked over and I saw my brother and sister. They were both fine," Esther said. "And then I looked over at my mom and my dad, and they were both on the floor because their seats fell down."

Joseph tried calling out to his parents across the aisle. But he couldn't breathe.

'Get out any way you can'

"I got the wind knocked out of me ... I was just hoping I could get some air because it was really scary," Joseph said.

The parents eventually responded to their children's calls with moans. The siblings knew they were alive.

But there was no time to absorb what happened. The plane could catch fire at any moment.

Sarah Jang

"The flight attendants just said get out any way you can," 11-year-old Sarah said.

"Me and my brother were out before my dad, my sister and my mom were out. So I was wondering if they were out of the plane, or still in the plane, 'cause after a while the plane started ... having a fire."

The family was separated for more than an hour.

"When we all reunited ... I was really glad, so I started crying," Joseph said.

The entire family was injured, but none seriously. The three children and their father are all recovering at San Francisco General Hospital.

Joseph has a minor fracture in his back. Esther has a sprained foot and needs crutches. And Sarah has a fractured finger, heavily bandaged between her other pink fingernails.

"I describe this experience as I got really lucky," Joseph said. "We all got really lucky."

The family was supposed to board another flight to Denver. They still haven't made it home to Colorado yet.

So a nurse let the children use her computer to post messages on Facebook, letting their friends know they were OK.

Esther's post: "My life flashed before my eyes. I thank God that me and my family are safe."

CNN's Sara Sidner reported from San Francisco; Holly Yan wrote from Atlanta.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Capital Murder defendant Calvert wheeled, unwilling, into district courtroom

    Capital Murder defendant Calvert wheeled, unwilling, into district courtroom

    Thursday, August 21 2014 6:38 PM EDT2014-08-21 22:38:39 GMT
    James Calvert was wheeled into Judge Jack Skeen Junior's courtroom Thursday afternoon in what appeared to be a catatonic state and seemingly restrained as deputies balanced him on a wheelchair while supporting his legs.More >>
    James Calvert was wheeled into Judge Jack Skeen Junior's courtroom Thursday afternoon in what appeared to be a catatonic state and seemingly restrained as deputies balanced him on a wheelchair while supporting his legs.More >>
  • Officer Involved Shooting Suspect's Mom Speaks Out

    Officer Involved Shooting Suspect's Mom Speaks Out

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 11:13 PM EDT2014-08-21 03:13:22 GMT
    LONGVIEW (KYTX) - Hope Fountain says the shadow of recent events has covered up who her son really was."You'll never replace those hugs and those smiles. He would always be there for you no matter what." - Hope Fountain, Wagner's MotherGregg County Jail Records show that Wagner has a violent past but Fountain says he has regretted his crimes since the day they were committed. In 2013, Wagner plead guilty to terroristic threats of a public servant. Fountain says Wagner was going through a roug...More >>
    LONGVIEW (KYTX) - Hope Fountain says the shadow of recent events has covered up who her son really was."You'll never replace those hugs and those smiles. He would always be there for you no matter what." - Hope Fountain, Wagner's MotherGregg County Jail Records show that Wagner has a violent past but Fountain says he has regretted his crimes since the day they were committed. In 2013, Wagner plead guilty to terroristic threats of a public servant. Fountain says Wagner was going through a roug...More >>
  • Business News: Nearly 35 million to travel Labor Day weekend

    Business News: Nearly 35 million to travel Labor Day weekend

    (CNN)- More Americans are planning to head out of town for the Labor Day weekend. More >>
    (CNN)- More Americans are planning to head out of town for the Labor Day weekend. More >>
Powered by WorldNow

CBS19, MYTX & KCEB
2211 ESE Loop 323
Tyler, TX 75701
Phone (903) 581-2211
Fax (903) 581-5769

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KYTX. All Rights Reserved. Users of this site agree to the Terms of Service, Privacy Notice/Your California Privacy Rights, and Ad Choices.