July 6, 2015 — Two years ago today, Asiana Airlines Flight 214 crashed at San Francisco International Airport during a botched landing attempt. Flight OZ214 originated from Seoul, South Korea’s Incheon International Airport with 307 people onboard. Nearly all of those on the plane were from China, South Korea and the United States.
Officials said the Boeing 777-200ER plane descended below the visual glide path and impacted with a seawall, due to pilot error. Three teenage Chinese girls were killed in the crash and 187 people were injured.
Zhang Jin, an accountant from Shanghai, China was one of the 187 injured. She and her bank employee husband were seated in separate rows in the middle of OZ214. When the plane went down, Jin thought she was going to die. She remembers the lights going out in the passenger cabin and debris falling from above.
Jin and her husband were able to escape the wreckage, though she suffered a severe head injury and a fractured ankle. Like many others, she was airlifted to a local hospital, then later transferred to Stanford Medical Center, where doctors rushed her into surgery and removed part of her skull after discovering massive bleeding in the brain.
For over two months, Jin was forced to wear a helmet until her doctors felt it was safe to put back the piece of her skull. The hope is that the injury will not cause any permanent brain damage, but the massive scar on her head will always serve as a reminder of that excruciating July day in 2013.
According to ABC 7, Jin is one of 53 passengers aboard OZ214 to file a new class action lawsuit against Asiana in South Korea. The suit takes place in South Korea because the foreign passengers do not have standing to sue the airline in the United States, per the Montreal Convention, a multilateral treaty that governs compensation for the victims of air disasters on international flights.
Jin has been able to return to her job but requires therapy and counseling every month. Her passion for travel has been eclipsed by the fear of flying. She says that Asiana has given her nothing aside from initial assistance in the immediate aftermath of the crash.