Saturday, July 30, 2011

Commercial plane crashes in Guyana; no deaths

A Caribbean Airlines airliner coming from New York crashed with 140 passengers aboard while landing in Guyana early Saturday and broke in two, causing several injuries but no deaths, said President Bharrat Jagdeo.
The Boeing 737-800 apparently overshot the 7,400-foot (2,200-meter) runway at Cheddi Jagan International Airport in rainy weather. It barely missed a 200-foot (60-meter) ravine that could have resulted in dozens of fatalities, he 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.
Authorities struggled at first to remove passengers without adequate field lights and other emergency equipment. The extent of the injuries was not immediately clear.
Geeta Ramsingh, 41, of Philadelphia, said passengers had just started to applaud the touchdown "when it turned to screams," she said, pointing to bruises on her knees. She said she hopped onto the wing and then onto the dirt road outside the runway fence.
"I am upset that no one came to rescue us in the dark, but a taxi driver appeared from nowhere and charged me $20 to take me to the terminal. I had to pay, but in times of emergencies, you don't charge people for a ride," she said, sitting on a chair in the arrival area surrounded by relatives. She was returning to her native country for only the second time in 30 years.More...

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