As a plume of black smoke billowed from Asiana Airlines flight 214 after it crash landed at San Francisco International Airport last week, images were being captured -- not just of the plane itself, but of passengers ignoring official safety procedures and collecting their carry-on items before evacuating the aircraft.
A photograph that showed several passengers, including a woman walking away from the smoking wreckage with a black suitcase and smaller white bag in her hands, has been widely circulated.
The photo and reports of similar behavior have stirred up a stormy debate across China's social media platforms -- Chinese nationals made up approximately half the passengers on the Asiana Airlines flight that originated in Seoul, according to the airline.
"I am so disappointed those passengers think their baggage is more important than other people's lives," posted "MeganZhong," on Weibo, China's Twitter-like service. "And they had time to tweet the plane crash (before) helping others that are injured."
"Foreigners (especially Americans) don't understand that in China, human lives are cheaper than money," posted another, called "Victory of Xiangzi." "And this belief is deeply ingrained in the mentality of the Chinese government and its people."
A similar tone and theme was prevalent across Weibo but other netizens defended the passengers.
"Grabbing the bag is an instinct response," wrote "Jiqiongqiong." "But as Chinese, we should always keep in mind that human lives weigh more than our belongings."
Many commenters chided passengers who did not read the aircraft's safety briefing card or pay attention to verbal safety instructions.
Part of the investigation into the incident will look at Asiana crew members' verbal instructions during the emergency, what languages those instructions were in and how passengers responded. There can be no denying such an event can be chaotic and potentially confusing.
According to the airline, flight attendants helped passengers get off the plane safely. They opened doors, deployed slides and helped passengers escape, according to JoongAng Daily, a South Korean newspaper.
Safety information available online from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration emphatically capitalizes the instruction to "LEAVE YOUR POSSESSIONS BEHIND" under its evacuation procedures. Passengers are also instructed to:
-- stay low
-- proceed to the nearest front or rear exit -- count the rows between your seat and the exits
-- follow floor lighting to exit
-- jump feet first onto evacuation slide
-- don't sit down to slide. Place arms across your chest, elbows in, legs and feet together
-- remove high-heeled shoes
-- exit the aircraft and clear the area
-- remain alert for emergency vehicles