Airliner carrying Canadians from Guyana crash lands after technical problem

Airliner carrying Canadians from Guyana crash lands after technical problem
Everything was chaos: Fly Jamaica flight bound for Toronto crash lands in Guyana
Six people were injured after a Fly Jamaica plane on a flight from Guyana to Toronto crash landed overnight at Guyana's Cheddi Jagan International Airport. 

Flight OJ256 left from Cheddi Jagan International Airport, near the Guyanese capital of Georgetown, with 120 passengers — including two infants — and eight crew aboard shortly after 1 a.m. ET. 

The plane, which had 120 passengers and eight crew members on board, had been in the air for about 20 minutes when the pilot indicated it was experiencing problems with its hydraulic system, Guyana officials said at a news conference.

Eighty-two of the passengers are Canadian citizens, according to local media reports that cited David Patterson, Guyana's minister of public infrastructure. 

Six passengers suffered non-life-threatening injuries when the plane landed about 45 minutes after it departed Cheddi Jagan International Airport at about 2 a.m. local time, they said.

About 11 minutes into the flight, the pilot indicated the Boeing 757 was experiencing problems with its hydraulic system, Guyana officials said at a Friday morning news conference. The aircraft returned to Cheddi Jagan, where it crash landed, leaving the runway. 

Officials at Fly Jamaica said flight OJ256, which was headed to Toronto, had to make an emergency landing because of a technical problem.

Images posted on the airport's Facebook page show the plane appearing to have gone through a chain link fence, with one of its engines tilted upward and resting on the fencing. An emergency inflatable slide had been deployed from one of the front doors.

Six people were injured when a Fly Jamaica plane overshot the runway after returning to Georgetown, Guyana, Friday morning.

Invor Bedessee was sitting near the cockpit during the flight. According to him, the plane's departure was delayed about 45 minutes as crews addressed a mechanical problem.

Flight Alerts, a Twitter account monitoring aircraft, reported the plane overshot the runway and crashed into a fence.

Takeoff was smooth, but other passengers became anxious after the pilot revealed they were returning to Georgetown. 

Bedessee said it seemed that once the aircraft landed, its brakes were not functioning properly. The plane eventually rolled to a stop after a spiked rumble strip laid across the runway by an airport ground crew punctured several tires on its right side. 

"We crashed into a big sand pile at an edge of a cliff. There's a big drop about 30-40 feet [nine to 12 metres] on the other side. If we had 10 more feet [three metres], we would be down in the ditch," he said, adding it's a "miracle of miracles" that no one was more badly hurt during the crash and subsequent evacuation. 

Rabina Roopnarine awoke to a call from her mother, Bebe Ali, who was among those on the plane. Ali, a resident of Toronto, flew to Georgetown two weeks ago for her brother's funeral. She was supposed to land at Pearson International Airport at 7 a.m. ET. Friday.

Ali used a flight attendant's cellphone to contact her daughter from the hospital shortly after the crash landing. Roopnarine said she was told the plane was filled with smoke and passengers were trying to force their way off.

Local police have cordoned off part of the airport and an investigation into the circumstances of the incident is underway, according to officials. A representative from the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board is expected to assist in the probe. 

Patterson is expected to provide an update on the incident at 9 a.m. The airport has also set up a hotline for family members looking for assistance and information.

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Six people were injured after a Fly Jamaica flight carrying 82 Canadians bound for Toronto crash-landed in Guyana following a technical problem on the plane that one passenger described as a very scary experience.

Global Affairs Canada confirmed to CTV News that 82 of the 128 passengers on Flight OJ256 were Canadian. The agency said they have no reports of any Canadian citizens being injured in the accident.

The Boeing 757 aircraft left Georgetown, Guyana just after 2 a.m. local time Friday morning, according to a press release from the airline.

Airline spokesperson Carl Bowen said the pilot reported a hydraulic failure emergency shortly after its departure from Cheddi Jagan International Airport.

The aircraft returned to the airport less than 20 minutes after takeoff, the spokesperson told The Associated Press.

The plane overran the end of the runway and made a crash landing, CTV Torontos Tom Podolec reported.

Bowen said the aircrafts right wing and engine were badly damaged after the plane eventually came to a halt at the northeastern takeoff end of the runway.

Invor Bedessee, a passenger on the plane, said their flight had been delayed for 45 minutes because the aircrafts front left door would not close properly.

It took the maintenance crew about 45 minutes to get the door problem fixed, he told CTV News Channel from Guyana. After they gave us the all-clear, we taxied to the runway and flew away.

The passenger said he noticed they were circling above the Atlantic Ocean for approximately 10 minutes before the captain came on the intercom to tell them there were hydraulic problems and they would be returning to the airport. He said they overshot the runway and the crew seemed to have trouble stopping the plane after they landed.

Eventually, Bedessee said the aircraft ran over spikes on the ground intended to stop planes and two or three tires burst. He also said the planes right wing broke off and the plane swerved to the right and crashed into a sand ditch.

If the plane had travelled three more metres, Bedessee said they would have went over the edge of a hill and fallen approximately nine to 12 metres.

I am shaken, he told CTVs Your Morning. We were saved on top of the edge of the cliff. It was a very scary flight.

Bedessee said he thought he might die and said his fellow passengers were also terrified during the ordeal.

There was praying. There was cursing. Everything was chaos, he recalled. They just wanted to get off the plane, get off the plane, fast, fast, fast.

Cheddi Jagan International said six people were injured and were being treated at Diamond Hospital. The airport said the injuries were not life-threatening.

She is in the hospital. She is complaining of her back and head hurting her and her blood pressure is really high. But she said everything is OK and she is OK, Rabina Reopnarine said. She just wants to come home.

The airline spokesperson said theyre making alternative arrangements to fly out the rest of the passengers.

Minister of Public Infrastructure David Patterson is expected to provide an update on the incident at 9 a.m. ET, the airport said.

Update Authorities report Fly Jamaica #OJ256 to Toronto returned soon after departure with a hydraulic problem. After landing suffered a runway overrun. 118 adults, 2 infants & 8 crew on board. 6 with minor injuries. Airport has reopened. Some flights delayed. �� Gordon Moseley

Fly Jamaica #OJ256 to Toronto returned to Georgetown, Guyana shortly after departure with a mechanical issue and went off the end of the runway after landing. Local media report 120 people on board; some hurt. �� NewsRoom Guyana

A Fly Jamaica Boeing 757-200 aircraft, which overshot the runway, sits at the northeastern takeoff end of the runway at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport, in Georgetown, Guyana, Friday, Nov. 9, 2018. (AP Photo/Adrian Narine)

Fly Jamaica said Flight OJ256 left Georgetown, Guyana just after 2 a.m. Friday morning. (Cheddi Jagan International Airport / Facebook)

The Boeing 757 planes right wing and engine were badly damaged in the accident. (Cheddi Jagan International Airport / Facebook)