Published: Thu, August 02, 2018
World News | By Sandy Lane

Aeromexico airliner crashes in northern Mexico; 49 are hospitalized

Aeromexico airliner crashes in northern Mexico; 49 are hospitalized

Forty-nine people were hospitalized; the pilot and a passenger are in "critical but stable condition", said Durango Gov. José R. Aispuro.

Aeromexico said it was aware of the accident involving one of its planes flying from Durango to Mexico City.

"It is confirmed that there have been no deaths from the flight #AM2431 accident", tweeted Jose Rosas, the governor of Durango state where the crash occurred.

The Guadalupe Victoria airport has been closed since the plane went down near the runway during an afternoon storm.

During the frantic seconds after the crash, passengers - including children - are heard yelling as they scramble to escape from the broken, smoke-filled fuselage, which is quickly engulfed in flames.

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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. Some of the passengers were able to get off the plane and walk to a nearby highway for help, officials said. Mechanical failure and human error could be factors, but certainly the weather wasn't favourable.

The E190 is often used for regional commercial flights around the world and is commonly used by US carriers American Airlines and Jetblue.

Air safety investigator Adrian Young, from the Netherlands-based consultancy To70, said Wednesday that crash survival rates "are higher than they have ever been" in part because "airplanes are stronger than ever". The plane, a Brazilian Embraer 190 was carrying more than 100 people.

David Gleave, a United Kingdom -based crash investigator and air safety consultant, said the absence of fatalities reflected the relatively low speed of the impact, as well as decades of work in improving aircraft design.

Officials said 97 people were taken to hospital but that most only had superficial injuries.

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The fire around the wings eliminated the possibility of using wing exits, so Mr Herrera said he moved towards a back exit and started helping other people leave the craft.

Aeromexico said it was working with authorities to provide medical attention to the 101 people aboard the flight.

The Aeromexico plane crashed after taking off in the northern state of Durango, but the state's governor says there were no deaths in the accident.

Aeromexico has operated the 10-year-old aircraft since 2014, the airline said.

An Embraer - a type of commercial jet - was involved in one fatal crash when a Henan Airlines flight overshot a Chinese runway in 2010 and another in Africa in 2013 when a LAM Airlines pilot deliberately crashed the plane during a hostage-taking incident.

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Embraer said late on Tuesday that it had sent a team of technicians to the scene of the accident and stood ready to support the investigation.

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