A plane crashed while landing at San Francisco International Airport Saturday morning after its tail came off while it was touching down on the runway.
According to a witness, around 11:20 a.m. the plane was just about to land -- its landing gear had come down -- when the tail of the plane came off.
After wobbling for a minute, the aircraft flipped upside down, coming to a stop on runway on it's back, according to witness Kathy Muhler.
When it came to a halt, smoke was pouring from the aircraft. Fire crews responded minutes later, Muhler said.
12:34 PM PT: It's obvious from photos and video that the plane did not flip on its back. At least some people aboard the plane escaped via inflatable slides.
12:35 PM PT: CNN's Dana Bash, who was heading to the airport at the time of the crash, said she noticed smoke emanating from the runway. She said she had not noticed any arrivals or departures since the crash.
Laura Brown, spokeswoman for the FAA in Washington, said Asiana Flight 214 from Seoul was attempting to land at San Francisco International Airport when it crashed. [...]
The crash is the first major commercial jet to crash in the United States since a November 2001 crash in New York.
The airline is based in Seoul, South Korea. Its website says its Boeing 777 can carry between 246 to 300 passengers.
1:00 PM PT: Reports are that there were 290 passengers and 12 crew members aboard. Other than to say that there were injuries, there have been no reports of numbers and no reports of fatalities.
1:03 PM PT: A witness described to ABC News what he saw when the plane was landing.
"The nose of the plane was higher than usual for a plane coming in to land and I thought that was odd," Stephen Dear said. "It got closer and closer. I saw the back tail hit the ground."
Dear said the plane then "caught fire immediately."
1:51 PM PT: Various sources are reporting that a dispatcher at the San Francisco Fire Department says two people aboard the Asiana flight are dead and 12 injured enough to be taken to hospitals. But, so far, there is no official confirmation of this.
1:58 PM PT: SF International Airport public information officer did not confirm deaths or injuries in a brief news conference. Another news conference is scheduled for 3 p.m. Pacific Time.