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Monday, 15 April, 2002, 14:29 GMT 15:29 UK
Eyewitness: Korea plane crash
Two rescuers carry a survivor (C) of an Air China which crashed while trying to land in poor weather in Busan
Residents helped crash victims as bad weather set-in
Survivors of an Air China plane crash have been speaking of the final moments before tragedy struck and their remarkable escape from the wreckage which claimed 115 lives.

Thirty nine people walked away from the site where a Boeing 767 flight - with 167 people on board - ploughed into a mountainside outside South Korea's second city, Busan.

Everything was burnt, including the people that I saw

Chun Hee-saeng, local resident
Survivors, bloodied and bandaged, left the wreckage on foot leaning on police as soldiers guided them down the 400 metre (1,320 feet) mountainside.

Others too weak and distressed to walk were carried on piggy-back by emergency workers.

"Where's my baby," cried one woman, waiting for news of her 10-year-old daughter, as she sat on the back of a policeman.

'Big bang'

Park Choon-Ja, an ethnic Korean from Heilongjang province in China, recalled the moment the plane crashed just after passengers had been informed their flight was due to make an emergency landing due to thick fog and rain.

An unidentified woman cries at a hospital after a report that her mother Kang Mal-se is survived
Relatives waited for news of their loves ones

He said: "Flames erupted after a big bang. Everyone was in shock.

"They made the announcement about the landing and started playing music and we crashed five minutes later."

From her hospital bed an elderly Korean woman passenger interviewed by YTN cable news television described how she reacted.

Her face covered with blood, she said: "I felt dizzy while I was in the plane and bowed my head.

"I didn't hear anything."

Chun Hee-saeng, a resident who helped rescuers, said: "Everything was burnt, including the people that I saw."

Aviation officials said many of the survivors were passengers in the front part of the aircraft, indicating that the plane crashed with its tail and fuselage hitting the ground first.

The BBC's Gill Hargreaves
"Some of the injured were conscious and talking to doctors"
See also:

15 Apr 02 | Asia-Pacific
In pictures: Korea plane crash
12 Feb 02 | World
Air disaster timeline
22 Jun 00 | Asia-Pacific
Double disaster hits China
08 Mar 02 | Country profiles
Country profile: South Korea
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