Forward Thinking

Sheryl Sandberg's Plane Crash Narrow Escape

By Renee Ghert-Zand

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Facebook COO and bestselling “Lean In” author Sheryl Sandberg and her family narrowly avoided having been on the Asiana Airlines flight that crash-landed at San Francisco International Airport on Saturday morning.

Two people were killed and 49 seriously injured when Asiana Airlines Flight 214, a Boeing 777, slammed in to the ground just short of the runway on landing. There were “many burns, fractures and internal injuries,” according to a spokeswoman for San Francisco General Hospital, where six people were in critical condition. The remaining 307 passengers and crew members escaped unscathed or with minor injuries.

Sandberg took to her own Facebook page early Saturday afternoon to thank friends and followers who had been concerned for her and her family, and to explain that they had changed flights out of Seoul, South Korea at the last minute.

“Taking a minute to be thankful and explain what happened,” she wrote. “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 Dave David Eun was on the Asiana flight and he is fine.”

Frost, Gholson and Hoffman are Facebook employees. Eun, is a Samsung Electronics’ executive VP and head of its Open Innovation Center. He was one of the first people to send tweets from the crashed plane.

“Thank you to everyone who is reaching out - and sorry if we worried anyone. Serious moment to give thanks,” Sandberg added.

Sandberg’s prior Facebook posts were of photos of her in Seoul on her tour promoting “Lean In,” a manifesto of sorts explaining why women’s progress in achieving leadership roles has stalled, and offering possible solutions for empowering more women, especially working mothers. Sandberg herself is the mother of two children together with her husband David Goldberg.


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