Flames singed Kim Duckhwan's skin as he climbed through a hole in the roof of a Korean Air jetliner moments after it slammed into a mountain ridge in Guam.
The cool rain falling did little to dull Kim's pain. More than seven months after the Aug. 6 accident, he still wears bandages on his hands and has third-degree burns on almost half of his body.He also still doesn't have any answers as to what caused the crash of Flight 801 or whether anything could have saved the 228 passengers and crew who died when the plane crashed on approach to Guam International Airport. Only 26 people survived.
Three days of National Transportation Safety Board hearings into the crash began Tuesday. So far, testimony and newly released data focused on confusion between the cockpit and the airport, and faulty warning equipment.
Along with other survivors and family members of victims, Kim was on hand as the hearings opened. He said he wants answers and for the parties involved to take responsibility.
"All of the parties being given a platform to speak are partly responsible," Kim said Tuesday in Korean with an interpreter and two American attorneys at his side. "Everyone in this hearing who is able to speak out should bear some responsibility for this accident."
The plane took off from Seoul, South Korea, and was filled with Korean vacationers, who were given no advance warning that a crash was imminent.
Kim said he thought the plane was landing when the tail actually was hitting the mountain.
"When the plane bounced back down and the wing caught fire and exploded, that's when I realized it was an accident," said Kim, whose fiancee was engulfed in flames.