At least 65 U.S. citizens were aboard the Aeromexico passenger jet that crashed in northern Mexico, a U.S. official said on Wednesday, as investigators combed the wreckage for clues to the cause of the accident.
The Mexico City-bound Embraer 190 passenger jet smashed into scrubland near the runway shortly after the plane took off from an airport in northern Durango state on Tuesday. All 103 passengers and crew survived by evacuating the plane before it caught fire.
The embassy spokesman said that the US consulate in Monterrey and the US embassy in Mexico City are in contact with local and federal officials in Mexico and the airline.
Mexican officials said almost everyone on the plane was slightly injured.
Luis Gerardo Fonseca, Mexico’s director of civil aviation, said flight loggers were on board the local news media on Wednesday.
Commercial aircraft carry a cockpit voice recorder, which can contain significant details of the last minutes of a flight prior to an accident, and a flight data recorder, known as a “black box”.
A video about an accident recorded from an airplane window showed a dark sky and a mist, and the ground could still see moments before a thief and screaming passengers could hear it.
Reuters could not confirm the video independently.
“The influence was very strong. We wanted to think it was a surprising strike, “said Chicago resident and passenger Lorenzo Nunez. “Terrible, absolutely horrible.” Nunez said he visited his family in Durango.
A video from Mexico’s Webcams, shot an hour before the accident, showed black clouds and fog or rain.
Officials said it was too early to say what caused the 2431 flight to collapse.
In a Twitter post on Wednesday morning, Aeromexico said 64 people were released from the hospital.
The state health department said two people, the pilot and the elderly, were injured more seriously.
He told Fonseca publisher ADN40 that his team started working at the crash site at 7 pm local time (1200 GMT), as well as the US National Transportation Safety Board (UST) and the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) representatives.
Fonseca, Embraer SA and the representatives of General Electric Co., the manufacturer of aircraft engines, also said it was helpful.
It may take months for security researchers to bring together a chain of complex events that lead to an accident.
The identification of the cause of the crash in Durango can be made easier with the accident site; this should allow easy access to evidence such as flight recorders received and negotiations with crew and other victims.
According to international rules, Mexico will support Brazil from the Embraer jet, which is designed and manufactured, and the United States, which has built General Electric’s CF34-10E engines.
According to the planespotters.net, Aeromexico took over the 10-year-old aircraft on Tuesday from Republic Airways in the United States in 2014. A spokesman for Republic Airlines said on Wednesday that the company briefly rented the aircraft to Aeromexico, but the planes were sold to a third party in 2015. The airline did not give a third party’s name.
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