Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer, said she and other staffers at the social media site, had initially planned to be on the Asiana Airlines flight that crashed at San Francisco International Airport early Saturday afternoon, killing two Chinese students and injuring 182 people. There were 307 passengers and crew on board.
The executive revealed the information on Facebook at 1 p.m., about an hour after the crash, saying, “Taking a minute to be thankful and explain what happened. My family, colleagues Debbie Frost, Charlton Gholson and Kelly Hoffman and I were originally going to take the Asiana flight that just crash-landed. We switched to United so we could use miles for my family’s tickets. Our flight was scheduled to come in at the same time, but we were early and landed about 20 minutes before the crash. Our friend David Eun was on the Asiana flight and he is fine. Thank you to everyone who is reaching out – and sorry if we worried anyone.”
Frost is director of communications and public affairs at Facebook, while Hoffman is an administrative assistant and Gholson is a research associate at the company. The team had visited Facebook’s Tokyo offices on July 1.
Eun, a former AOL and Google exec, is Samsung Electronics’ executive VP and head of its Open Innovation Center, which oversees the company’s media units. He’s also worked for Time Warner and NBC.
He was one of the first individuals to send out tweets directly from the crashed jetliner, on its way to the U.S. from Seoul, as black smoke billowed from its fuselage and passengers were exiting the downed jet.
Eun called the experience “surreal” and that “most everyone (on board) seems fine.”
And later inside the SFO terminal, he tweeted:
At Terminal now. Very grateful I’m ok. Thanks for all your best wishes but please do not call me right now. Will keep everyone posted.
— David Eun (@Eunner) July 6, 2013
Sandberg, who has been COO of Facebook since 2008, has 1,204,123 followers on the social media site.
The Federal Aviation Administration is now working with the Korean airline to figure out why the Boeing 777 crash landed. But in the meantime, the crash has caused delays at SFO, which has grounded all flights, and redirected those scheduled to land to other airports, including Los Angeles Intl Airport. Move has caused a number of headaches for travelers on the busy Fourth of July holiday weekend.