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Official: 2 dead in San Francisco plane crash

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - San Francisco's fire chief says the two people who died in the Asiana airlines crash were found outside of the heavily damaged jetliner.

Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White said late Saturday that she did not know the ages or genders of the victims.

Asiana Flight 214 from Seoul had more than 300 passengers and crew members aboard when it made a hard landing, lost a tail and caught on fire at San Francisco International Airport on Saturday morning.

More than 180 people were taken to nine area hospitals, but the majority had relatively minor injuries. As of Saturday evening the number of fatalities stood at two while at least five people were reported in critical condition.

Pieces of the tail were strewn about the runway.

The National Transportation Safety Board sent a team of investigators to San Francisco to probe the crash.

At a briefing in Washington, NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman said they have not yet "determined what the focus of this investigation is."

Investigators from South Korea were being invited to participate in the probe.

She said the team's first job will be to collect information and document the accident scene.

President Barack Obama is expressing his gratitude to the first responders at the scene of the airliner crash in San Francisco.

The White House says in a statement that Obama has directed his team to stay in constant contact with federal, state and local partners as they investigate and respond to the accident.

The White House says the president's thoughts and prayers go out to the families of those affected by the crash.


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