BREAKING Knife Story: Asiana Passengers Almost Burned To Death Waiting For Box Cutters

Reports indicate that passengers aboard crashed Asiana Flight 214 were trapped by their seatbelts while the Boeing 777 burned around them. If only someone had a knife to cut them free, even a small pocketknife…

But nobody had any kind of knife, because knives aren’t allowed on flights that land or originate in the United States. So what happened?


The Boeing 777 slammed into the runway on Saturday morning, breaking off its tail and catching fire before slumping to a stop that allowed the lucky ones to flee down emergency slides into thick smoke and a trail of debris. Firefighters doused the flames that burned through the fuselage with foam and water, and police officers on the ground threw utility knives up to crew members so they could cut the seat belts of those who remained trapped as rescue crews removed the injured.

You read that correctly: passengers were trapped in the burning wreckage, and they had to wait until police showed up with box cutters to cut them free from their seats.

Thanks to the TSA’s absurd ‘No Knives On Planes’ rule, hysterically defended by the Air Waitress union, nobody on flight 214 had a sharp rescue tool to cut them free. How many of them would have burned alive if police and firefighters hadn’t showed up within minutes? What would the Air Waitresses have said then? You’ll notice that they’re saying nothing right now.

‘No Knives On Planes’ is a stupid policy, and it’s a bloody miracle that it didn’t kill people this weekend. These passengers shouldn’t have had to wait for knives to save their lives, and it’s time to repeal this feel-good hoplophobia.

UPDATE: An escape slide/life raft also inflated prematurely inside the cabin, trapping a flight attendant until passengers could free her. A knife would have made this rescue a lot easier, too.


  1. Matt in FL says:

    I think that if I was one of those people, that fact would be called out specifically in my inevitable lawsuit.

  2. Aharon says:

    I’ve read that two teenage girls died in the crash. I wonder if it was because of the insane no knife rule.

    1. Matt in FL says:

      Preliminary indications are that they were thrown from the plane. One was found about 30 feet from the fuselage on the ground. One was found somewhat further way, back in the area of the approach apron, and there is some indication that she may have been struck by one of the emergency vehicles on its way to the plane. Nothing has been said either way if she was alive or already gone when that happened.

      1. Aharon says:

        Thanks Matt.

      2. Rebecca says:

        Margaret suggested that maybe the two girls had been hiding in the wheel wells, and when the crash happened they were thrown clear. Is that possible?

        1. Matt in FL says:

          I find that highly unlikely. A ~10 hour flight from Korea at intercontinental cruise altitude would most likely turn them into popsicles. That’s assuming they weren’t crushed by the wheels coming up into the wheel wells.

        2. jwm says:

          The whell wells are unpressurized. Most airliners fly above 25 thousand feet. No way for them to breathe at that altitude. People have done the wheel well thing before. I’ve never heard of it ending well.

        3. will says:

          No, I think they were killed by knives thrown in the plane by the policemen.

  3. ChuckN says:

    I’d like to see this in court with the victims families going after the
    airlines, for failure to provide adequate safety measures, the Union
    for backing/pushing the no personal safety devices (i.e. knife, belt
    cutter etc); and the TSA itself for keeping a regulation that while
    resulting in only unsupported anecdotal evidence of effectiveness,
    could very easily have caused the deaths of dozens of people.

  4. Bob Damon says:

    A see the irony when airport police have box cutters available for cutting seat belts, but they are not allowed on the plane.

    Keep in mind it was the Air Waitresses that stayed on the plane to cut the seat belts, and they were the last to leave.

    1. Chris Dumm says:

      100% correct. And…if they hadn’t lobbied to stop the new TSA rule, there would have been a few knives in the cabin and they could have all been off the plane more quickly.

  5. BierceAmbrose says:

    When did all travelers (drivers, citizens, gun owners, phone users, emailers, Boston residents, etc.) become part of the problem, vs. partners in the solution?

    1. CptNerd says:

      We became their problem when the TSA was formed. The basic assumption of the TSA’s mandate was that all travelers are potential terrorists, and must be assumed to be either instigators or at least accomplices in plane hijacks. Either that, or we are (by their definition) no more than useless cattle that won’t help defend in any way.

    2. Deep Lurker says:

      It started a long time ago. I went to typical suburban public schools in the ’60s and ’70s, and one of the lessons was “self-defense is wrong.” (Rejecting that lesson is what radicalized me, politically.)

      The TSA is just an extension of this. After 9/11 ruling elites are desperate to do anything – anything at all – that will let them avoid admitting that sometime the right thing to happen is for ordinary people to use violence in self-defense. In their minds, a terrorist hijacking is bad, but for passengers to rise up against the hijackers… that’s Treason Against Civilization Itself.

      Thus the TSA and its policies, which are not aimed at stopping another Twin Towers but rather at preventing another Flight 93.

  6. tbhride says:

    All the more reason to carry a ResQMe keychain which are TSA legal.

    1. CShort says:

      Tell that to the TSA agents in Nashville that confiscated them from me and my wife the last time we flew together.

      1. tbhride says:

        Sorry to hear that CShort! I’ve never had a problem with them in the 6 or so years I’ve been carrying one. Problem is you get some workers who really just don’t know what they are doing :-/

  7. Tom says:

    Doesn’t anybody know how to work a buckle?

    1. PubliusII says:

      Totally agree.

      I fly often. The mechanism of those buckles is very simple and (I would think) hard to jam so tight that it won’t unlatch when you pull up on the release lever.

      Given the recent public discussions over carrying small knives, I hope this point will be clarified as the investigation continues.

      1. Suburbanbanshee says:

        From what I understood, some of the seats broke away in the crash, etc. If you can’t get to the buckle, you need to cut the straps and slide out that way.

  8. Jason says:

    I’m sure that there are titanium or carbon fiber (or other non-steel) blades that could be slipped through security. Maybe it’s about that time.

  9. MrBuddwing says:

    “Air Waitress union.” A fine tribute to the heroes of Flight 214, including the likes of Lee Yoon-hye, who, according to the AP, “worked to put out fires and usher passengers to safety despite a broken tailbone” and was one of the last to leave the burning plane.

    1. Response says:

      It’s insulting for you to imply that just because someone is a waitress, she can’t act in a heroic manner in an emergency. Lee Yoon-Hye sounds like a wonderful person, and the fact that her job is primarily to be a waitress does not diminish her in any way.

      1. David says:

        I think he meant that the “Air Waitress Union” was a disgrace to Lee Yoon-Hye by working against people who risk their lives to save others. He was mocking the union, not the person.

  10. Chuck Pelto says:

    What the FUCK!

    So I don’t fill in the blanks and when, after a warning, I come back here to ‘fill in the blanks’ AND THERE’S NOTHING!!!!

    Please fix this ‘glitch’….

    1. Matt in FL says:

      What is this I don’t even

      1. Chuck Pelto says:

        I’ve had comments that ‘disappear’ and ‘reappear’ later.

        But this is something ‘new’. Wherein, early without enough coffee….I didn’t notice that usually filled in Name and Email were ‘blank’, I’m told after attempting to post a comment, I have not dotted all the t’s and crossed the i’s.

        So I page back and all of the comment is GONE!

        1. Matt in FL says:

          I can see how that would be unfortunate. I usually copy my comments to the clipboard before I hit Post if they’re more than just a couple sentences, just in case. It only takes a couple keystrokes, just [Ctrl]-A and [Ctrl]-C, and if it doesn’t go up for some reason, just click in the box and [Ctrl]-V and you’ve got it all back.

  11. Robert says:

    Why is it that the folks who make the rules always have the wrong instincts. Every time?

  12. Larry says:

    There is a foot long metal seat belt cutter “T” shaped that is made for aircraft rescue.

    It has two “ears” on it made for unique screws found on aircraft as well.

    We have them on all our firetrucks,I’m amazed that its not standard equipment on all airlines, they have flashlights,life jackets, defibs,first aid gear ect.

    I’d post a pic. If I could figure out how to….

    1. Mr. Lighter says:

      What’s the name of the tool? If I have a name, I can google it and look.

  13. styrgwillidar says:

    The Royal Navy equips their pilots with a knife/egress tool which is specifically designed to cut seat staps. Instead of a straight blade it’s curved to keep from slipping off the strap.

  14. larry 1356 says:

    I can’t believe the TSA let the first responders go out to the burning aircraft with knives.

  15. Diane says:

    I’m confused….why couldn’t someone just unbuckle the seatbelts?

    1. Worker says:

      Some of the seats broke off their mounts from the crash, preventing access to the buckle. In other cases, the buckle may have jammed tight from the force of the crash.

  16. Dantes says:

    Anybody know how seatbelt buckles become locked in place and can’t be released? Do they get bent when someone slams forward in the seat?

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

BREAKING Knife Story: Asiana Passengers Almost Burned To Death Waiting For Box Cutters

button to share on facebook
button to tweet
button to share via email