MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - About 85 people were injured on Tuesday, some seriously, when an Aeromexico-operated (AEROMEX.MX) Embraer (EMBR3.SA) passenger jet crashed just after takeoff in Mexico’s state of Durango, but authorities said there were no fatalities.
A person watches as smoke billows above a site where an Aeromexico-operated Embraer passenger jet crashed in Mexico's northern state of Durango, July 31, 2018, in this still image taken from a video obtained from social media. Francisco Javier Castrellon/via REUTERS
The operator of Durango airport, Grupo Aeroportuario Centro Norte (OMAB.MX), attributed the crash to bad weather conditions, citing preliminary reports.
The mid-sized jet was almost full, with 97 passengers and four crew members aboard, when it came down at around 4 p.m. local time (2100 GMT), Gerardo Ruiz Esparza, Mexico’s minister for communications and transportation, wrote on Twitter.
“The plane was taking off,” Governor Jose Rosas Aispuro told Mexican television, adding that witnesses told him there was “a bang” and then without warning the plane was on the ground.
TV images showed the severely damaged body of the plane emerging from scrubland and a column of smoke rising into the sky.
The plane made an emergency landing about six miles (10 km) from the airport shortly after taking off, Alejandro Cardoza, a spokesman for the state’s civil protection agency, said on local television.
Cardoza said in an interview that around 85 people had been injured, adding that a fire resulting from the accident had been put out and there were no reports of burn victims. “Many managed to leave the plane on foot,” he said.
The Mexican airline said on Twitter that flight number 2431 was an Embraer 190 and was bound for Mexico City when it crashed.
Embraer did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto wrote on Twitter that he had instructed the ministries of defense, civil protection and transportation to respond to the crash.
Reporting by Mexico City Newsroom; writing by Julia Love; Editing by Frank Jack Daniel and Tom Brown