TODAY   |  July 07, 2013

Flight 214 passenger: ‘Fear,’ ‘chaos’ after crash

“I knew something was wrong,” said Eugene Rah, who was a passenger on Flight 214 when it crash-landed in San Francisco. He told TODAY about the moments right before and after the crash.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> as you mentioned, were able to walk away from the crash. well, they may not have fiphysical wounds at this point. there is no doubt they are extremely chaken up. eugene rah was one of the passengers onboard. his daughter, who was not on the plane, but is happy to be sitting next to her dad this morning, are both with us. thank you for taking time for us. we spoke briefly before the show started. you told me you haven't slept yet. probably not a surprise to most people. eugene , you fly very frequently for business. in fact, you're a million miler on asiana. when did you feel that something wasn't right?

>> well, when the plane was standing, i looked out the window as usual and i knew something was going wrong because i knew the plane was flying too low. and i was really prepared and i thought we're going to have a big crash and, bang, what happened.

>> so enough big crash . walk us through, what was that moment like for you, and what happened next?

>> well, after the plane hit the ground so hard, of course there was, i mean, fear and chaos. people were screaming and reaching up for the oxygen masks and all that. you know, we thought it was going to flip over or something or explode. and after a few minutes or a few seconds, which i don't remember how long it has been, the plane finally stopped. at that point there was like silen silence. everybody was looking at each other with fear in their eyes and people started crying here and there and then a few -- i mean, a minute later, we hear the pilot asking us to evacuate from the plane.

>> as i understand it you also helped the flight attendant who was stuck at one point with one of those chutes. did it go smoothly forg getting off the plane?

>> yeah. when the plane stopped after we paused before the captain announced the evacuation, i saw the flight the attendant in between the wall of the plane. another gentleman from the other side went around behind her. i was going to help him to get her out. and there was nothing sharp in the plane so we could not deflate the slide and so we had a hard time for some time and then the other gentleman from the other side was able to manage to deflate the slide and she was released from there. and that was the moment the pilot announced the evacuation. amazingly the flight attendant from the other side were so calm, professional, and helped everyone to get off the flight.

>> unice, we can only imagine what the reunion must have been like for you and your dad. tell us, what was it like for you when you saw him? you said you ran to him like you were 6 years old.

>> you know, it's every daughter's worst nightmare especially with a father that travels since i was a young girl . i do have to -- i saw so many young girls, you know, standing in the lounge. they still had blood stains on their shirt and they were very young, couldn't have been more than 18. they were confused, couldn't speak english. and i thought this was the time to stay soulful, to stay human , to have humility and try to support the families that weren't able to reunite yesterday.

>> we are glad you two are together and thank you for taking the time to speak with us us. i'm sure you'll be hugging each other today. eunice and eugene rah, thank you you.