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Sat July 6, 2013
San Francisco General Takes In Patients From Plane Crash
Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 7:49 am
REBECCA SHEIR, HOST:
It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News, I'm Rebecca Sheir. More now on the breaking news out of San Francisco. That's where an Asiana Airlines flight from Seoul, South Korea, crashed earlier today.
Reporter Molly Samuel is with our member station KQED, and she joins us from the San Francisco General Hospital. And I understand there was just a press conference there. So, Molly, what do we know now?
MOLLY SAMUEL, BYLINE: Well, San Francisco General Hospital has a total of 27 patients now from the crash; ten were admitted a couple of hours ago now, and that they're in critical condition. There are 17 more patients that are still being assessed, and they are expecting fewer than 10 more. And the last wave of patients that aren't yet here would be the least injured of the group.
SHEIR: And I understood the latest update is that two of the passengers have died.
SAMUEL: You know what, I haven't been able to confirm that here. That - I have seen those reports, too, but I can't confirm that from SF General.
SHEIR: So give us an idea of what San Francisco General Hospital is like. Is this one of the best equipped hospitals to handle a situation like this?
SAMUEL: Yes. They have San Francisco's only trauma center here, so they are set up for those kind of thing. They said that they have, you know, ample space for that many people coming in. And they said they actually have had an outpouring of people who work here who have just come in without having even to be called. They said, you know, radiologists, nurses, chaplains, they're all just coming in without even being asked.
They have translators on staff here, and they've said right now they have nine Korean speakers working at the hospital helping translate.
SHEIR: It was quite an international passenger group on that plane. So you're on scene, you're at the hospital, I expect the scene is quite busy there with lots of anxious people milling around. You describe what you're seeing, what you're hearing.
SAMUEL: Sure. You know, it's sort of a, you know, a mix of a lot of waiting around and then occasional hubbub. I'm in the parking lot and, you know, where I am is just a lot of press kind of gathered around waiting for something to happen. There are ambulances trickling in. you know, it's not a wave of them, but it's every now and then. There's one, actually, backing in right now.
And the hospital has set up two big, blue tents in the parking lot, and that's to help what capacities. They're moving kind of people who are just walking in with emergencies or the least-injured patients from the crash into these tents to make sure there's enough space in the emergency room for people as they come in.
SHEIR: Have you heard anything from relatives or friends of the passengers who were on board?
SAMUEL: No. No. I - we haven't been able to get close to any people who were on the plane. But they said they are bringing in family members, you know, in the ambulances. They're trying to keep families together, and they're all gathering inside the hospital somewhere so that they can also stick together.
SHEIR: Molly Samuel from member station KQED. Thank you so much for your time today, Molly.
SAMUEL: You're welcome. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.