Colombian Jet Carrying 130 Crashes; 1 Dead

August 16, 2010 by staff 

Colombian Jet Carrying 130 Crashes; 1 Dead, A Boeing 737 passenger plane carrying 131 people crashed in a storm and broke into three pieces as he slid into the runway on an island in Colombia on Monday. The region’s governor said it was a miracle that only one person died.

Colombian Air Force Col. David Barrero said authorities were investigating reports the plane had been struck by lightning before it crashed at 1:49 am (3:49 am EDT, 0649 GMT) in San Andres Island, a leisure area 78,000 people about 120 miles east of the coast of Nicaragua.

San Andres Gov. Pedro Gallardo said 125 passengers and six crew members were on board flights Aires 8520, but the only person Barreto Fernández de Amar died, aged 68. “It was a miracle and we have to thank God,” that only one person was killed, said Gov. Pedro Gallardo.

Authorities said 119 people were served or available at local clinics and five of them were seriously injured.

The state government said in an email that passengers aboard the plane left Bogota at midnight included eight U.S. citizens and four Brazilians. They were not identified. Passengers said the pilot had announced an imminent landing and everything seemed normal as the plane descended through the rain and lightning.

But suddenly hit short and then slid on the runway in her womb as the broken fuselage. He finished at one end of the runway, crumpled into pieces, as passengers were scrambled or contributed to security.

Firefighters quickly extinguished a fire at the beginning of a wing, said police Gen. Orlando Paez.

Ninety-nine passengers were taken to the Love of Country Hospital in San Andres, said the hospital director, Dr. Roberto Sánchez. “It’s unbelievable. For the dimension (the accident), there should be more,” he said.

Sanchez said an initial review indicated that Fernández de Barreto could have died of a heart attack.

Twenty other passengers were treated at another clinic, according to the national civil aviation agency.

Barrero, commander of Air Group of the Caribbean, said by telephone from San Andrés, “The skill of the pilot keeps the plane hit the airport.”

He said the cause was uncertain. “You can speculate. Lightning? A gust of wind? The investigation will say.”

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