The plane was reported to have remained upright, but also to have spun around full circle.
One photo posted on Twitter showed people streaming out of the jet. "I just crash landed at SFO. Tail ripped off. Most everyone seems fine. I'm ok," tweeted passenger David Eun.
Whether an emergency landing had been scheduled was initially unclear. However, it is understood there were no emergency vehicles deployed on the runway.
A tweet from Boeing said. "Our thoughts are with everyone affected by today's incident at SFO. We stand ready to assist the NTSB."
According to the website of South Korean airline Asiana, its Boeing 777 can carry between 246 to 300 passengers. The twin-engine 777-200 is one of the world's most popular long-distance planes, regularly used for flights of 12 hours or more.