PALO ALTO, California – There were several Filipinos on board the Asiana Flight 214 that crashed onto the San Francisco International Airport runway just before noon on Saturday, killing two people and injuring more than 180 others.
Among those who survived were elderly couple Ruben and Belen Vallero, who were discharged today from the Stanford Medical Center where they were treated for broken ribs and liver laceration.
Sitting on seats 16B and 16C when the plane smashed into the tarmac, Ruben, 69 said most of the injuries they sustained were a result of slamming on to the seat in front of them.
Belen, 71, said they are thankful to be alive and safe. Both retirees reside in New Castle, California.
Maricel Anino-Knaus, 38, and her two sons, 7-year old George, 5-year old Gabriel were also in that plane.
Maricel's relatives from Cebu told ABS CBN that Maricel, her husband Carl and her two sons took a vacation in the Philippines for a month. Carl flew back to America a week earlier, while Maricel and the children took the ill-fated Asiana flight.
"Nangangamba kami, tapos napaiyak talaga ako kasi kapatid ko yon,” said Maricel’s sister Mary Jane Anino, “tapos hindi talaga namin sukat akalain na ganoon ang pangyayari.”
Maricel's sister-in-law, Maria Lourdes said Carl reached out to them after the crash and told them the condition of his family.
"Marami silang sugat, mga bruises, tapos trauma. Grabe daw ang trauma," she said.
Investigators have begun interviewing the four pilots in the cockpit and are looking at all possible causes of the mishap.
Maricel's relatives said Asiana Airlines need to be held accountable if it is proven that a jet malfunction or pilot error caused the crash.
“Dapat silang managot kasi hindi nila sinigurado kung ang kanilang sasakyan ay maayos. Maraming pasahero ang nakasakay diyan. Kung napaano, eh di kargo din nila," Anino said.
The Anino family in Cebu has yet to speak to Maricel personally. They said her husband was driving from Colorado to San Francisco to be reunited with his wife and sons.
Balitang America is still trying to track down the Knaus family for an interview.