Mexican plane with 101 passengers crashes on takeoff
MEXICAN airline AeroMexico has confirmed a plane has crashed in the state of Durango in the country's northwest.
In what can only be described as a miracle, Durango Governor José Rosas Aispuro Torres said on Twitter no casualties or fatalities had been officially confirmed but security and emergency were at the scene near Guadalupe Victoria International Airport, also known as Durango International Airport.
He later tweeted: "It is confirmed that there were no deaths in the accident of flight #AM2431".
"At present, part of the Cabinet ... is in charge of caring for the injured and cooperating with the airport authorities in dealing with this event," he said.
Eyewitnesses described the plane rapidly dropping from the sky less than 10 minutes after takeoff and photos and images from the scene show debris scattered across a field while the aircraft goes up in flames.
Durango's Ministry of Health has reported 18 of the injured were transferred to Hospital 450.
Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto, who will soon handover the role after last month's election, also vowed on Twitter that all passengers and crew were safe.
He instruido a la @SEDENAmx, @PcSegob y @SCT_mx para que colaboren en la atención del percance aéreo ocurrido en Durango. Hago votos para que la tripulación y la totalidad de pasajeros se encuentren bien.— Enrique Peña Nieto (@EPN) July 31, 2018
In a tweet at 7.28am AEST time, AeroMexico said: We are aware of an accident in Durango and we're working to gather details and verify the information. Follow our official communication channels for more updates".
We are aware of an accident in Durango and we're working to gather details and verify the information. Follow our official communication channels for more updates.— Aeromexico (@AeromexicoUSA) July 31, 2018
FlightAware says the Aeromexico flight took off from Guadalupe Victoria International Airport in Durango on time at 3.08pm local time. It was headed to Mexico City, where it was scheduled to land at 4.38pm.
The operator of Durango airport, Grupo Aeroportuario Centro Norte, said on Twitter preliminary investigations blamed adverse weather conditions for the 'accident'.
"So far the authorities do not report people killed in this accident. Those who present injuries are being treated in the hospitals of Durango," the company said.
The state's civil defense agency confirmed that it was on the scene about 10 miles (16km) from the airport and posted early photos on Twitter.
Corporaciones de emergencia y seguridad se encuentran en el km17 de la autopista Durango - Torreón atendiendo accidente de la aeronave, cede el paso a los vehículos de emergencia 🚨 pic.twitter.com/XR75WuMlai— PROTECCIÓN CIVIL DGO (@CEPCDurango) July 31, 2018
Initial reports said the plane crashed shortly after takeoff.
#31Jul Primeras imágenes del desplome de un avión de Aeroméxico a cinco minutos de haber despegado del Aeropuerto Internacional Guadalupe Victoria, ubicado en la ciudad de #Durango. pic.twitter.com/blSb2Gteh8 - @AlbertoRodNews— Reporte Ya (@ReporteYa) July 31, 2018
People have been quick to tweet photos at the scene which show flames and firefighters putting them out.
Mexico's Secretary of Transportation Gerardo Ruiz Esparza confirmed the plane had 97 passengers and 4 crew members on board.
Esta es la lista extraoficial que los propios pasajeros hicieron para informar la situación en la que se encuentran algunos de ellos y cómo se trasladaron a los servicios médicos https://t.co/tERReoOb88 pic.twitter.com/BerAp9g3DN— Reporte Índigo (@Reporte_Indigo) July 31, 2018
AeroMexico has tweeted it is an Embraer 190 aircraft with capacity for 100 passengers.
One Mexican news outlet Indigo Report tweeted an "unofficial list that the passengers themselves" to help authorities.
El #Vuelo2431 cubría la ruta Durango - Ciudad México, operado por un avión Embraer 190 con capacidad para 100 pasajeros.— Aeroméxico (@Aeromexico) July 31, 2018
The airline says its "priority is to guarantee the safety of the clients and crew on board and we are working for it".
AeroMexico, which is the country's national airline, is regarded as an extremely safe airline and hasn't had an accident with a fatality in more than 30 years.
In a statement, the airline said: "At the moment we do not have any reports of deceased persons".
"We are working with the corresponding authorities for the medical attention of the passengers and crew," it read.
"We deeply regret this accident. The families of all those affected are in our thoughts and in our hearts.
"We are focusing on addressing this situation and will do whatever is necessary to assist the families of our clients as well as our crew in these difficult times."
Estamos trabajando para recabar información adicional y proporcionaremos más detalles en cuanto estén disponibles y sean confirmados. Nuestra prioridad es garantizar la seguridad de los clientes y tripulación a bordo y nos encontramos trabajando para ello. #Vuelo2431— Aeroméxico (@Aeromexico) July 31, 2018
Aeromexico says customers and concerned family members can phone +52 51 33 40 59.