Thursday, August 19, 2010

Passengers stranded following San Andres crash

Passengers stranded following San Andres crash

As many as 3,000 international passengers are stranded on the Colombian island of San Andres following a plane crash earlier this week.

A single fatality was reported following the crash landing of an Aerovías de Integración Regional ( airline Boeing 737-700 on Monday.

Over 120 passengers and five crew were able to walk away from the wreckage following the incident, which is believed to have been caused by a lightning strike.

However, three people injured in the crash - a German, a Colombian woman, and an 11-year-old Colombian girl - remain in the intensive care unit of a Bogota hospital.

Aires president Francisco Mendez confirmed United States National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigators are presently in San Andres examining the crash site alongside local authorities.

As a result, virtually all aviation traffic from the island has been suspended.

“The full reopening of the runway and the airport will only occur once the investigation teams give the go ahead to remove the crashed aircraft,” said a spokesperson for Colombian Civil Aviation Authority Aerocivil.

At present only small aircraft and a private ambulance plane are allowed to take off from the airport.

Local officials confirmed both the flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder have been recovered from the crash site.

Aires successfully underwent a routine safety audit in July.


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