Caribbean Plane Crash
August 4, 2011 By Alicia Ramsay

Caribbean Airlines Flight 523 skidded on the Cheddi Jagan International Airport in Georgetown, Guyana shortly after midnight last Friday causing the plane to snap in two but miraculously resulting in no deaths.

The Boeing 737-800 took flight from John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York and stopped in Trinidad, where Caribbean Airlines is based, before landing in the only English- speaking country in South America.

The plane landed during a rainstorm, just short of a 200 feet deep ravine. All 163 people on board, including 96 Americans, survived.

"We are very, very thankful and grateful that there are no deaths," said Bharrat Jagdeo, Guyana's president at Cheddi Jagan International Airport.

More than 30 people were hospitalized with only three out of the crowd admitted for broken bones, bumps, cuts and bruises, according to Guyana's health minister, Leslie Ramsammy.

Passengers expressed their reactions of the incident to The Associated Press.

"The plane sped up as if attempting to take off again," said 41-year-old Geeta Ramsingh of Philadelphia. "It is then that I smelled gas in the cabin and people started to shout and holler."

"I was the second to last person to get off that plane in the dark, " said 42-year-old Adis Cambridge of Guyana who escaped by jumping on the wing of the plane onto the dirt road. "I thought I would have died. I just started to cry."

Officials and aviation experts say it is too early to confirm whether the lack of systems, which authorities have been upgrading to assist in landing, was a factor in the crash.

"We have no other information at this time about the incident," said Caribbean Airlines spokesperson Laura Asbjornsen.

She also stated that the pilot of the crashed plane and the crew remain in Guyana, cooperating with investigators.

Presently, the U.S agency has a team in Guyana assisting the country with their investigations.

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