Wednesday, December 23, 2009

American Airlines Flight 331 Crashes at Jamaica

American Airlines flight from Miami with more than 150 aboard overshot a runway and skidded to the edge of the Caribbean Sea, injuring more than 40 people. Some 44 people were taken to nearby hospitals with broken bones and back pains, Information Minister Daryl Vaz told The Associated Press.

Four people were seriously injured, said Paul Hall, senior vice president of airport operations. American Airlines said only two were admitted to the hospital and nobody suffered life-threatening injuries.

The plane's fuselage was cracked, both engines broke off from the impact, and the left main landing gear collapsed, airline spokesman Tim Smith said. Most of the injuries were cuts and bruises, and none were life threatening, he said.

U.S. federal investigators will analyze whether the plane should have been landing in such bad weather, Smith said, adding that other planes landed safely amid heavy rain.

Some passengers leaving the plane were seen with cuts on their faces or bloody lips. Some looked visibly shaken as they left the terminal wrapped in red blankets. Others ducked under umbrellas to escape the heavy downpour.

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