An Embraer E190 – operated by Aeroméxico Connect – has crashed shortly after take-off from Guadalupe Victoria International Airport, in Durango State.
All 103 passengers & crew onboard the ill-fated AM2431 flight have survived the incident, but 97 are understood to be injured. Aeroméxico’s Chief Executive has said that the Captain sustained injuries and is ‘being operated on’, although the injuries were not life-threatening.
The aircraft was headed on a 477-mile journey from Durango-Guadalupe Airport to Mexico City, when the incident occurred.
The identities and nationalities of those on board are currently unknown, but – thankfully – all passengers were able to put a safe distance between them and the aircraft before it caught fire.
— The Telegraph (@Telegraph) August 1, 2018
The reason for the crash remains unclear, although several witnesses have suggested that the weather could be to blame for the tragedy. State Governor José Rosas Aispuro said the plane was hit by a gust of wind, forcing the plane into a sudden descent. He suggested that the left wing of the Brazilian-manufactured plane scraped the ground, then the engines came off.
The airport operator, Grupo Aeroportuario Centro Norte, said that early data corroborates this version of events – saying that the plane had departed during a heavy hailstorm. One passenger said that a strong air current hit the aircraft, causing the Embraer 190 to drop to the ground at around 16:00 local time, yesterday.
A fire, which began after the crash, was put out – according to Civil defence spokesperson Alejandro Cardoza, and there were no burn victims.
The aircraft involved was registered XA-GAL, was manufactured in Brazil 10 years ago and has operated under the Aeroméxico brand since 2014. Both the airline and aircraft manufacturer have good safety records, with Aeroméxico’s last incident involving a passenger fatality taking place in August 1986. XA-GAL came to rest about 380 meters past the runway threshold and 320 meters past the paved end of the runway, slightly to the left of the extended centreline.
In a statement, Aeroméxico said that they ‘deeply regret’ the events and regard yesterday as a ‘terrible day for the Aeroméxico family and Mexico at large’. Embraer have dispatched a team of investigators to the site to determine what went wrong.
The crew, at this point, can only be praised for their handling of the situation, with all 4 crew and 99 passengers escaping alive. I wish everyone involved a quick recovery and express my support for family, friends and loved ones of those who are injured.
For relatives and loved ones affected, a telephone helpline has been established: +52 (55) 51 33 40 59 from Mexico and 1 866 205 4084 from abroad.
Featured Image: Associated Press