An Aeromexico passenger plane carrying 99 passengers and four crew members crashed in the Mexican state of Durango in the north shortly after takeoff Tuesday afternoon. Durango Governor José R. Aispuro said on Twitter that the crash happened near the airport, and added shortly afterwards that no deaths were reported.
Aeromexico said the lack of fatalities was “thanks to the prompt action of the crew and passengers.”
Media in the area said the crash of flight 2431, an Embraer 190, occurred five minutes after its takeoff en route to Mexico City, according to the BBC. Passengers were seen walking to a nearby highway to obtain help. The governor said on local television that witnesses had told him they heard a “bang” and then the plane was on the ground.
According to Reuters, passengers said the aircraft was hit by a “strong air current” shortly after taking off. The gust apparently caused the plane’s left wing to hit the ground, knocking off the engines on that wing. Passengers and crew escaped via the emergency slides, before the plane was engulfed in flames.
The report noted that the pilot sustained the most injuries, but was in a stable condition. Dozens of passengers were also injured; most were light injuries, but two passengers were in a critical condition.
Durango’s civil protection agency posted photos of ambulances and its workers at the scene, where black smoke was rising from a plane fuselage.
“We would like to reaffirm that we are focused 100% on doing everything in our power for the well-being of passengers and their families,” Aeromexico said in its statement, thanking the employees and federal and state authorities that supported the rescue and assistance efforts.
This article was updated on Wednesday morning as more facts came in.