[QODLink]
Americas
Caribbean Airlines flight crashes in Guyana
Plane from New York with 157 passengers breaks in two as it lands at capital's airport, causing injuries but no deaths.
Last Modified: 30 Jul 2011 15:51
The Caribbean airline Boeing 737 crashed in on the runway of Guyana's main airport in the capital, Georgetown [AP]

A plane carrying 163 people has crashed and broken in two after landing in rainy conditions at Guyana's main airport, causing several injuries but no deaths.

The Caribbean Airlines Boeing 737-800 flight from New York was carrying 157 passengers and six crew members to the Cheddi Jagen International airport in Guyana's capital, Georgetown.

Guyana's President Bharrat Jagdeo said the plane, which had earlier made a stop in Trinidad, crashed on the runway, just stopping near a 61 metre ravine, which could have resulted in dozens of deaths.

Jagdeo said: "We are very, very grateful that more people were not injured,'' he said as authorities closed the airport, leaving hundreds of passengers stranded and delaying dozens of flights.

Geeta Ramsingh, a US citizen who escaped with bruises to her knees, said passengers had just started to applaud the touchdown "when it turned to screams".

A woman quoted by Guyana's Kaieteur News service described hearing a loud sound when the plane landed after which everyone began screaming.

"It was terror," she said. "I was praying to Jesus."

Her husband opened the emergency door and passengers began escaping, she added.

'Serious injuries'

The crash took place at 0132 (0532 GMT) local time, according to a statement from Caribbean Airlines.

The front section of the fuselage broke in the landing, briefly trapping passengers in the first class seats.

The Guyanese authorities struggled at first to remove passengers without adequate field lights and other emergency equipment.

"About 100 people received medical attention, with four hospitalised for serious injuries", said Devant Maharaj, the Trinidad minister of transport, where Caribbean Airlines is based.

He said the company was sending a team to Guyana to help investigate the crash.

Speaking to Al Jazeera, Enrico Woolford, a journalist from Guyana, said "that even though the conditions were wet, the Met office in Guyana are saying the cause of the accident is not just due to the weather".

Caribbean Airlines, which is based in Trinidad-based airline, is the single largest carrier in the region, operating at least five daily flights.

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Featured on Al Jazeera
Western fighters have streamed into the Middle East to help 'liberate' Arab countries such as Syria and Libya.
The Pakistani government is proposing reform of the nation's madrassas, which are accused of fostering terrorism.
Weaving and handicrafts are being re-taught to a younger generation of Iraqi Kurds, but not without challenges.
The author argues that in the new economy, it's people, not skills or majors, that have lost value.
Featured
Al Jazeera investigation uncovers allegations of beatings and rape in Kenya's ongoing anti-terrorism operation.
Incumbent Joyce Banda has a narrow lead, but anything is possible in Malawi's May 20 elections.
Western fighters have streamed into the Middle East to help 'liberate' Arab countries such as Syria and Libya.
The Pakistani government is proposing reform of the nation's madrassas, which are accused of fostering terrorism.
Grass-roots campaigns for female candidates are making an impact in India's first nationwide elections since 2009.
join our mailing list