The Aeromexico-operated jet had just taken off Tuesday in the Mexican state of Durango when it smashed into the ground near the runway.
Investigators including U.S. officials began sifting through the wreckage of an Aeromexico-operated passenger jet on Wednesday (Aug 1) for clues to what caused it to crash in Mexico’s state of Durango, the head of the country’s civil aviation agency said.
During a press conference the CEO of Grupo Aeromexico, Andres Conesa, expressed, “Our heart is with those affected and their families”. All those aboard managed to escape before it caught fire.
The left wing of the twin-engine jet initially touched the ground, causing the plane to lose both engines.
The maker of the plane, Embraer, says it sent a team of technicians to the scene of the crash to support the investigation. Passengers and crew jumped to safety before the plane was engulfed in flames, Aljazeera has said.
“It was really, really ugly”, said Lorenzo Nunez, a passenger from Chicago who fled the plane with his two sons and wife.
Officials said 97 people were taken to hospital but that most only had superficial injuries. Dozens of people were injured, but no one died in the crash.
Aispuro added that all aboard had been accounted for when the plane’s burned fuselage was checked after the fire had been put out. An earlier report of the passenger tally did not include the two infants.
The Guadalupe Victoria airport has been closed since the plane went down near the runway during an afternoon storm.
Airline Aeroméxico tweeted on Wednesday that 64 people had been released from hospital. He described a odd accident scene in which some passengers got out under their power, and some even wandered back to the airport to seek out relatives.
The mid-sized jet was nearly full, with 97 passengers and four crew members, when it came down at around 4 pm local time (5am on Wednesday in Singapore), Mr Gerardo Ruiz Esparza, Mexico’s Secretary of Communications and Transportation, wrote on Twitter.
Passenger Anabel Estrada, from Joliet, Ill., said the plane battled heavy rain and wind before hitting the ground, twice.
The spokesperson said about 85 of the 101 people on board suffered injuries, but they do not have burns.
The governor of Durango told Mexican TV the plane was taking off in bad weather and the pilots tried to abort the takeoff, but couldn’t in time. Durango’s governor says some survivors who got out of the plane on their own power even wandered back to the airport looking for their loved ones. “I think that would have made a big difference”, the father said.