World News

Aeroméxico plane with 101 aboard crashes in Durango; no deaths reported

Aeroméxico plane with 101 aboard crashes in Durango; no deaths reported

Gerardo Ruiz Eparza says there were 97 passengers and four crew members aboard the plane. Videos shot by passengers onboard the jetliner reveal heavy rain, low visibility and winds as the aircraft rolls down the runway.

The images, captured by one of the passengers after they escaped from the Aeromexico flight, shows the plane on fire as the travellers attempt to make their way from the immediate area.

"It was really, really ugly", said Lorenzo Nunez, a passenger from Chicago who fled the plane with his two sons and wife. "And I tried to get out with her", Rivera said. "I feel blessed and grateful to God", she said.

Photos posted by Durango Civil Protection show smoke rising from the apparent crash site, which was surrounded by first responders and emergency vehicles.

The plane had barely taken off when it felt like it was hit by a strong air current, another passenger told network Televisa. The governor told The Associated Press that a gust of wind hit the plane shortly after takeoff, causing it to lose speed and hit the ground with its left wing. But the cousins were seated in the middle of the cabin, and passengers were exiting from the front and rear doors, as the emergency exits in the middle of the plane were unused due to the fire near the wing, Garcia said.

The plane's operator, Grupo Aeroportuario Centro Norte, said initial indications are that the weather was the cause of the crash, according to the BBC.

"Our heart is with those affected and their families", he said.

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Forty-nine people were hospitalized; the pilot and a passenger are in "critical but stable condition", said Durango Gov. José R. Aispuro. Aeromexico said 64 people have been released from hospitals. He told Televisa the plane's voice and data recorders would be recovered once rescue efforts were completed.

An Aeromexico jetliner carrying 103 people crashed Tuesday while en route to Mexico City. Officials at his parish said shortly after hearing about the crash on local news, the phone rang and incredibly it was Father Esequiel.

Aeromexico said that flight number 2431 was an Embraer 190 bound for Mexico City when it crashed. From the USA, two investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board are being deployed to assist in the investigation. US citizens who lost their passports met with consular officials who came to Durango to assist.

"We're working to collect additional information and we will provide more details as soon as they're available and they're confirmed".

The civil defense office of Durango state said the plane came down in a field near the airport for the state capital, also named Durango.

Worldwide rules dictate that Mexico will lead the crash investigation, with help from Brazil - where the Embraer jet was built - and the U.S., where its engines were made.

"The most important thing in the seriousness that is an accident of this nature is that there were no deaths", Aispuro said at a news conference.

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