Mexico Plane Crash: Everything We Know So Far About Aeromexico Crash Near Durango

An Aeroméxico plane carrying 103 people crashed in Durango, Mexico, on Tuesday while taking off during a severe storm. Everyone on board the plane survived.

"The control tower noticed strong wind currents, and this could have caused the accident," Durango Governor José R. Aispuro said at a news conference Tuesday night, CNN reported.

Aispuro told Associated Press that the pilot and another person were in serious but stable condition. The governor said 49 people were taken to nearby hospitals, but officials reported that most of the passengers on board had minor injuries.

The federal government reported after the crash that 101 people were on the plane, but two minors were not included in the first count, AP reported.

“Fortunately we have now found all 103—now we know where each one is—this gives us a lot of tranquility,” Aispuro told the AP.

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Fire engines are seen near the wreckage of a plane (out of frame) that crashed with 97 passengers and four crew on board on takeoff at the airport in Durango, Mexico, on July 31. Dozens were injured—but there were no fatalities. KEVIN ALCANTAR/AFP/Getty Images

The Crash

Aeroméxico confirmed there was an accident on Tuesday involving one of its planes. Flight AM2431, which was flying from Guadalupe Victoria International Airport, in Durango, Mexico, to Mexico City, crashed at 4 p.m. local time, Secretary of Communications and Transportation Gerardo Ruiz Esparza wrote on Twitter.

Aeroméxico released a statement stating that the airline “deeply regrets” the plane crash and praised the crew and passengers for evacuating the plane safely.

"Our heart is with those affected and their families,” said General Director of Grupo Aeroméxico Andres Conesa. “We are deeply saddened and moved by this incident, and we would like to reiterate, first of all, that the Grupo Aeroméxico family extends its support, thoughts and prayers to those affected and their families. We are doing everything in our power to assist them and their families. "

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The wreckage of the Aeroméxico plane that crashed with 97 passengers and four crew on board lies near the airport in Durango, Mexico, on July 31. Aeroméxico released a statement following the crash stating the airline “deeply regrets the accident.” KEVIN ALCANTAR/AFP/Getty Images

The Cause

Aeroméxico chief executive Andres Conesa said it was too soon to speculate about the cause of the crash, but Aispuro said during the news conference that a gust of wind hit the Embraer E190 after takeoff, causing the jet to lose speed and its left wing to hit the ground. The impact knocked the engines loose and the aircraft landed in a horizontal position. The plane's evacuation slides were deployed right after impact and passengers were able to deplane the aircraft safely before the flames from the engine spread, the AP reported.

Israel Solano Mejia, director of the Durango city civil defense agency, told Foro TV that the plane was able to take off “but fell nose-first” a few hundred yards away from the airport's runway, according to the AP.

“The nose took the hit. The most seriously injured is the pilot,” Solano Mejia said. However, he said, “The majority of passengers left (the plane) under their own power.”

The Passengers

Authorities said 49 people were hospitalized after the crash and only suffered minor injuries. The pilot, Captain Carlos Meyran, suffered a lesion that required surgery, NBC News reported.

Dorelia Rivera, one of the 103 surviving people aboard the plane, told WMAQ-TV she questioned why the plane took off during a severe thunderstorm.

"We took off, it was pouring rain—honestly, I thought, Why in the world are we even taking off?” she told the news station. “Within a couple minutes the plane just started shaking. We heard a loud noise behind us, and the next thing we knew it was starting to smoke and fire.”

Alberto Herrera, another passenger aboard the Embraer E190, told NBC News TODAY on Wednesday about the accident. Herrera, an avid flier, was heading home to Chicago when he detected some turbulence that “felt different.”

“I just started, out of instinct, bracing for impact as the plane started jolting and slammed into the ground,” said Herrera.

Herrera said once the plane hit the ground, passengers could see the flames on both sides of the engines. The plane had skidded and the cabin started to fill with black smoke.

“We started screaming…. Once the actual plane stopped we could see the flames on either side of the engine. So basically, the cabin just started filling with black smoke,” Herrera told the news station. “We wanted to try to find the nearest exit, and obviously as I was walking near the back I was checking the seats to see if anybody was knocked out or anything or if they needed assistance.”

Herrera is grateful that all of the passengers and crew members made it off the plane alive.

“It's kind of a miracle that we all made it. It's just a blessing that I'm here to kind of tell the story the next day,” Herrera said.

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