'Miracle' as 163 escape after plane snaps in two
Published 01/08/2011 | 03:40
All 163 passengers and crew on board a Caribbean Airlines jet survived when the plane skidded off the runway while landing at night in Guyana and broke in two on the edge of a ravine.
The Boeing 737-800 flight from New York overshot the runway and burst through a perimeter fence at Cheddi Jagan airport in Georgetown. The front of the plane snapped off and it stopped yards from a jungle gorge.
No fire appears to have broken out and three people were taken to hospital, one with a broken leg.
"It's an absolute miracle what happened here in Georgetown," said Caribbean Airlines chairman George Nicholas, who visited the crash site.
Passengers screamed when the plane lost control soon after touching down just past midnight.
Many fled down emergency inflatable slides as the jet finally came to rest outside the airport, broken in half with its nose in thick undergrowth.
"I saw death flash before me," said Guyanese-born Maxine Eversley, whose husband and niece were injured as they jumped to safety after the crash.