Durango, Mexico - An Aeromexico jetliner carrying 103 people crashed in stormy weather shortly after takeoff on Tuesday in Mexico's north-central state of Durango, skidding to a halt in a nearby field. Fortunately, all 103 passengers and crew managed a miraculous escape before flames consumed the plane.
Officials said 85 of the survivors who got out of the burning Aeromexico Embraer E190 suffered injuries in the crash. The Associated Press, citing a Durango state Health Ministry spokesman, said 49 people were hospitalized, most with minor injuries. "The pilot suffered the most serious injury, a cervical lesion that required surgery. Some people had burns on a quarter of their bodies," the AP report said.
Shaken passengers expressed gratitude for being alive.
"It was really, really ugly," Lorenzo Nunez, a passenger from Chicago who fled the plane with his two sons and wife told reporters, according to the AP.
"We felt the flames coming quickly... there was a lot of smoke," passenger Jaquelin Flores told the newspaper El Sol.
Flight AM2431 took off in a heavy hailstorm from Guadalupe Victoria International Airport bound for Mexico City. The airport operator, Grupo Aeroportuario Centro Norte, said initial indications are that the weather was the cause of the crash, according to the BBC.
Durango state Gov. Jose Aispuro said passengers reported a loud bang as the plane's left wing hit the ground and the engines tore loose. The accident occurred at about 4 pm local time. He said it was too soon to speculate on the cause of the crash.
"Many managed to leave the plane on foot," Civil defense spokesperson Alejandro Cardoza was quoted by the BBC as saying.
Passengers and crew members evacuated the plane using emergency slides before fire engulfed the aircraft, officials said.Original article