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Asiana Airlines CEO in San Francisco for crash probe

SAN FRANCISCO, July 9 (Reuters) - Asiana Airlines Chief Executive Yoon Young-doo arrived in San Francisco on Tuesday to meet with U.S. investigators and survivors of the Saturday plane crash that killed two people and injured more than 180.

Yoon was mobbed by about 50 reporters in the arrivals hall at San Francisco International Airport and retreated back into the terminal, escorted by police, after saying a few words in Korean.

He was scheduled to meet with National Transportation Safety Board investigators and tour the accident site on Tuesday, then visit with injured passengers at area hospitals on Wednesday.

The NTSB chairwoman Deborah Hersman was scheduled to brief reporters on interviews that have been conducted with the four pilots on the Asiana Boeing 777, which crashed on landing and burst into flames after coming in short of the runway at the San Francisco airport.

Information from the plane’s flight data recorder shows the plane was traveling far too slowly as it came in for landing, according to Hersman. While she has declined to speculate on the cause of the crash, much of the information released by the NTSB suggests pilot error as a main focus of the investigation.

Herman’s comments drew a harsh rebuke from the Air Line Pilots Association International, the largest pilots union, which said the release of the flight recorder information “encourages wild speculation” when the investigation is still in an early stage.

NTSB spokeswoman Kelly Nantel said the agency routinely provided factual updates during investigations, and transparency was crucial to maintain public confidence in the probe.