Dozens injured as Aeromexico plane crashes in Mexico

Dozens injured as Aeromexico plane crashes in Mexico

Dozens injured as Aeromexico plane crashes in Mexico

Dozens of people were injured when a packed Aeromexico-operated Embraer jet crashed right after takeoff in Mexico's state of Durango on Tuesday, but authorities said most were not seriously hurt and there were no fatalities.

The Durango governor said a gust of wind hit the plane shortly after take-off, which caused the jet to lose speed and hit the ground with its left wing, The Associated Press reported.

"Many managed to leave the plane on foot", he said. He said the plane skidded into a field in a horizontal position, which allowed escape slides to activate so all passengers and crew could escape before the plane caught fire.

The operator of Durango airport, Grupo Aeroportuario Centro Norte, attributed the crash to bad weather conditions, citing preliminary reports.

However, Aispuro is confident that all 97 passengers and four crew members survived after the plane crashed in Mexico's northern state of Durango. The plane reportedly tried to take off in heavy rain before being forced to make an emergency landing. "We do not know if it was a mechanical failure", Durango Civil Protection spokesperson Alejandro Cardoza said on Mexican television.

Among the passengers was Chicago-born priest Esequiel Sanchez of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, according to a statement by the Archdiocese of Chicago.

The United States will send two people to assist the Mexican investigative team, a U.S aviation official said. The governor said some passengers got out under their power, and some even wandered back to the nearby airport of Durango city to seek out relatives.

The web site Planespotters.net said the Brazilian-made medium-range Embraer 190 was about 10 years old and had seen service with two other airlines before joining the Aeromexico fleet.

The first images of the crash site shared on social and Mexican media showed a plane partially immersed in flames.

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.

There were no reported fatalities according to Aispuro, Secretary of Communications and Transportation Gerardo Ruiz Esparza and the airline. Details on his trip weren't immediately available. Prior to that, the aircraft was operated by U.S. airline Republic Airways.

"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 aircraft, the serial number of which was 190-173, was delivered in May 2008, the company said in a statement. "The Company stands ready to support the investigating authorities".

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