- several passengers injured
A Caribbean Airlines flight crashed on landing at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport shortly at around 01:30 hrs this morning.
The aircraft literally ran out of the runway and crashed through the perimeter fence before falling to the roadway beyond the fence. It broke in two, the break occurring in the area that accommodates the first class cabin. There were no fatalities but at least two passengers sustained broken legs while several others suffered lacerations and other injuries.
Most of the injured were treated at the Diamond Diagnostic Hospital before being taken to the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation.
A source close to CJIA described the accident as a “landing incident”. Hesaid that there was some panic because an incident of this nature is unheard of at the airport. Immediately the authorities summoned ambulances from the various health institutions in and around Georgetown, some coming from as far as West Demerara.
Initial reports suggest that the pilot landed far down the runway and could not stop in time. At the Georgetown Public Hospital the staff were put on alert because they expected an influx of patients. Trinidad immediately flew in another craft which landed and was ready to fly out the more seriously injured.
One woman passenger said that she heard a loud sound when the plane landed. She said that everyone, including herself began screaming. “It was terror,” she said. “I was praying to Jesus.”
Kaieteur News also spoke to an overseas-based Guyanese, whose wife suffered neck and back injuries. The couple is here on a two-week vacation. Most of the passengers fled the wrecked plane without their luggage.
Operations at the airport were at a standstill.
There were 176 passengers aboard the craft, many coming in from North America during this the peak season. The season is so hectic that Delta Airlines put on a daily flight and Caribbean Airlines increased its flight to Georgetown.