Durango state governor Jose Aispuro has confirmed authorities are checking the Aeromexico plane’s burned-out hull to make sure no one had been trapped.
However, Aispuro is confident that all 97 passengers and four crew members survived after the plane crashed in Mexico’s northern state of Durango.
The plane took off during a severe storm on Tuesday before smacking down in a field nearby before catching fire.
Aispuro said 49 people had been hospitalised. He said some passengers got out under their own power, and some even wandered back to the nearby airport of Durango city to seek out relatives.
One passenger, identified as Jackeline Flores, told reporters she and her daughter escaped from a hole in the fuselage as the aircraft filled up with smoke and flames.
“A little girl who left the plane was crying because her legs were burned,” Flores said. The plane had barely left the ground in heavy rain when it came down, she said.
“I feel blessed and grateful to God.”
The civil defence office of Durango has published photos of a smoking but seemingly relatively intact plane lying on its belly in a field. Ambulances lined up at the accident site to ferry the injured to hospitals.
Officials and witnesses differed on whether the plane either fell shortly after takeoff or ran off the runway without really gaining altitude. But they agreed the plane was trying to take off during a storm, with some describing marble-sized hail.
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SOURCE: AP / Stuff.co.nz