Published: Wed, August 01, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Mexico official says airliner crashed after takeoff in north

Mexico official says airliner crashed after takeoff in north

An Aeromexico jetliner crashed while taking off during a severe storm, smacking down in a field almost intact then catching fire, and officials said it appeared everyone on board escaped the flames.

The flight was headed from Mexico's northern state of Durango to Mexico City.

"Fortunately we have now found all 103 - now we know where each one is - this gives us a lot of tranquility", Aispuro said.

The Embraer 190 aircraft, which was operating between Durango and Mexico City and crashed around 3:00 pm local time (20:00 GMT), was carrying "88 adults, nine minors, two infants, two pilots and two flight attendants", the airline's director general Andres Conesa told a news conference.

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"Many managed to leave the plane on foot", he said.

The civil defense office of Durango state says Tuesday's accident occurred in a field near the airport for the state capital, which is also named Durango. The head of Mexico's Transport Department said earlier that "the plane fell upon takeoff".

Some described marble-sized hail falling as the plane took off, the AP reported. The pilot suffered the most serious injury, a cervical lesion that required surgery.

"I pray that the crew and all the passengers are OK", said Mexico President Enrique Pena Nieto.

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Ninety-seven passengers and four crew were on board an Aeromexico flight involved in an accident Tuesday, according to the country's Transportation Minister Gerardo Ruiz Esparza.

Passengers were able to escape on the plane's emergency slides before it was engulfed in flames, he said.

After the accident, several passengers walked away from the plane before first responders arrived. 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.

Cardoza said in an interview that around 85 people had been injured, some seriously, adding that a fire resulting from the accident had been put out and there were no reports of burn victims.

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Brazilian plane maker Embraer said it is ready to assist authorities investigating the crash of one of its planes.

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