Shock and survival: Asiana plane crash through the eyes of child - KiiiTV.com South Texas, Corpus Christi, Coastal Bend

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.

  • BBQ Benefit for 6-Year-Old Boy Killed

    BBQ Benefit for 6-Year-Old Boy Killed

    Saturday, August 30 2014 6:00 PM EDT2014-08-30 22:00:16 GMT
    A local car club called 361 along with friends and family are holding a benefit for the 6-year-old boy that was killed earlier this week.According to police the boy's stepfather 27-year-old Albert Villarreal struck young Xadrian Martinez after he soiled his clothing reportedly, Villarreal then grabbed the boy by the neck until he was unconscious and then slammed him into a refrigerator to try to revive him. EMS crews had been called out after the boy reportedly began having seizures. They rus...More >>
    A local car club called 361 along with friends and family are holding a benefit for the 6-year-old boy that was killed earlier this week.According to police the boy's stepfather 27-year-old Albert Villarreal struck young Xadrian Martinez after he soiled his clothing reportedly, Villarreal then grabbed the boy by the neck until he was unconscious and then slammed him into a refrigerator to try to revive him. EMS crews had been called out after the boy reportedly began having seizures. They rus...More >>
  • Former Presidents Clinton and Bush to launch new initiative

    Former Presidents Clinton and Bush to launch new initiative

    Saturday, August 30 2014 5:00 PM EDT2014-08-30 21:00:09 GMT
    (CNN) -- Former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush are going to join forces for a new initiative aimed at helping to give leaders better skills to solve problems.The presidents will appear together at an event in Washington on Sept. 8th to launch the Presidential Scholars Program.Organizers are billing this as a first of its kind partnership because not only will this involve the foundations run by Clinton and Bush but also will include the George Herbert Walker Bush and Lyndon Baines...More >>
    (CNN) -- Former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush are going to join forces for a new initiative aimed at helping to give leaders better skills to solve problems.The presidents will appear together at an event in Washington on Sept. 8th to launch the Presidential Scholars Program.Organizers are billing this as a first of its kind partnership because not only will this involve the foundations run by Clinton and Bush but also will include the George Herbert Walker Bush and Lyndon Baines...More >>
  • Tropics Update

    Tropics Update

    Saturday, August 30 2014 4:00 PM EDT2014-08-30 20:00:11 GMT
    Closely watching the progression of a tropical wave in the Caribbean Sea, east of the Yucatan Peninsula this morning. This wave will track over the Yucatan through the weekend, where interaction with land will inhibit strengthening/development. By Monday, the tropical wave will be over the warm Bay of Campeche waters. At that time, strengthening and more organization of this system looks likely. I highlighted the 'development zone' in orange and coordinated it with the probable path this syst...More >>
    Closely watching the progression of a tropical wave in the Caribbean Sea, east of the Yucatan Peninsula this morning. This wave will track over the Yucatan through the weekend, where interaction with land will inhibit strengthening/development. By Monday, the tropical wave will be over the warm Bay of Campeche waters. At that time, strengthening and more organization of this system looks likely. I highlighted the 'development zone' in orange and coordinated it with the probable path this syst...More >>