MIAMI, June 23 — Officials arrived in Miami Wednesday to investigate a passenger jet that caught fire as it touched down at the US city’s international airport, forcing more than 100 people to flee the burning and mangled aircraft.
Three people were hospitalised after the crash of Red Air Flight 203 late Tuesday, according to Miami-Dade fire officials, but no deaths or serious injuries have been reported among those on board.
Dramatic video footage showed people being evacuated from the McDonnell Douglas MD-82 aircraft, lying askew on the runway with its nose crumpled as thick black smoke billows from its body.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the US government agency in charge of probing civil aviation accidents, said the airplane’s left main landing gear collapsed during landing.
The plane then “departed the runway” before coming to rest on a grassy area, it said, with a fire breaking out on its right side.
Red Air, a Dominican budget carrier which only launched in November last year, said the plane was arriving from Santo Domingo when it met with “technical difficulties.”
Investigators were able to recover the cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder from the plane. They will additionally examine runway markings and the physical environment.
Red Air and the NTSB said there were 130 passengers and 10 crew on board. — AFP