Fly Jamaica flight bound for Toronto crash lands in Guyana

Fly Jamaica flight bound for Toronto crash lands in Guyana
Fly Jamaica flight to Toronto crash lands at airport 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 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.

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

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. 

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 pic.twitter.com/Ont5RlOUp5

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.

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.

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.

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. 

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.

"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.

“At this time, we believe that all 118 passengers and eight crew members are safe. We are providing local assistance and will release further information as soon as it is available,” it added.

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.

A Boeing jetliner carrying 126 people crash-landed at the airport in Guyanas capital Georgetown on Friday, injuring six people, the transport minister said.

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He said the injuries were not life-threatening and the wounded were taken to a hospital near the airport in this country bordering Venezuela to the east.

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

Guyanese police and soldiers secured the crash site for investigators to begin working. The US National Transportation Safety Board was alerted.

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

“They are all stable and are being looked at. There were no reports of broken bones,” Patterson told a news briefing at the airport.

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.

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.

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