Mexico City (August 01, 2018): At least 85 people were injured Tuesday when an Aeromexico-operated Embraer passenger jet crashed in heavy rain soon after takeoff in Durango state but authorities said there were no fatalities.
The mid-sized jet was almost full, with 97 passengers and four crew members, when it came down at around 4 PM local time (2100 GMT), Gerardo Ruiz Esparza, Mexico’s minister for communications and transportation, wrote on Twitter.“At the moment we don’t have any reports of deceased people,” Aeromexico tweeted.
The aircraft made an emergency landing about 10 kilometres (six miles) from the airport, said Alejandro Cardoza, a spokesman for the state’s civil protection agency. Other authorities said the crash was close to the airport.
Cardoza said in an interview that around 85 people had suffered mostly light injuries, adding that a fire resulting from the accident had been put out. The civil protection agency said 37 people were hospitalised, while the state health department said two passengers were in a critical condition. “Many managed to leave the plane on foot,” Cardoza said.
The operator of Durango airport, Grupo Aeroportuario Centro Norte, attributed the crash to bad weather conditions, citing preliminary reports.One passenger, identified as Jackeline Flores, told reporters she and her daughter escaped from a hole in the fuselage as the aircraft filled up with smoke.
“A little girl who left the plane was crying because her legs were burned,” said Flores, who said she was Mexican but lived in Bogota, Colombia. The plane had barely left the ground in heavy rain when it came down, she said. Flores said her passport and documents burned in the fire. “I feel blessed and grateful to God,” she said.
Pictures from the scene show thick black smoke rising from the jet which went down in scrubland not far from the airport.
The head of Mexico’s civil aviation agency, Luis Gerardo Fonseca, said it could take months to know the causes of the accident. He said it the plane’s voice and data recorders would be recovered once rescue efforts were completed.