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Mexico: an airliner crashes on takeoff, injured, no death

Durango, Mexico – An Aeromexico aircraft crashed Tuesday just after taking off in Durango State, northern Mexico, killing 85 people but no deaths, according to local authorities.

The Embraer 190 aircraft, which was operating between Durango and Mexico City, crashed around 4 pm local time (2100 GMT), " with 97 passengers and 4 crew members on board ]said the Mexican Minister of Transport, Gerardo Ruiz Esparza.

" There is no one dead in the crash of # AM2431 ," said state governor Jose Aispuro on Twitter.

According to a first assessment, " there are about 85 wounded ," said on his side on the channel Milenio TV the spokesman of the local civil protection, Alejandro Cardoza. There are some " serious injuries ", but the majority of injuries are " very light ," he said.

Forty-nine people would be hospitalized, according to local authorities. Others were able to return home.

The aircraft was reportedly caught in a heavy hail storm during take-off and reportedly attempted a forced landing, Cardoza said.

" The fire broke out after the forced landing by the pilots, but fortunately there are apparently no people with burns ," Cardoza said.

An image taken using a drone and obtained by AFP shows the aircraft immobilized in a field at the end of the runway.

– 'I saw flames' –

" We were on the runway when visibility became obscured, told AFP Jacqueline Flores, 47, who was traveling with her daughter The plane took off, then I felt he was beginning to bow, and that's when we fell ".

" I think we fell back on the runway because it was a hard surface, then we skidded on the ground until it stopped " says t -she.

" Luggage was falling down the hallway (…) I started to smell smoke " says the woman, who's been vacationing in Durango from where she is from return to Bogota, Colombia, where she is a housekeeper.

" I immediately took off my belt and saw flames, we had to jump in. There was a hole right next to us (…), the plane had broken, I told my daughter + we have to jump over here and jump + "she continues.

According to the governor, the passengers helped each other quickly evacuate the aircraft through the openings in the cabin caused by the accident.

Some would have suffered from nerve crises after the accident, he said.

An AFP correspondent saw passengers leaving the aircraft on foot, some with minor injuries.

Civil protection images posted on social networks show a plane on the ground, whose cabin is partially consumed by a fire.

Aeromexico is one of the leading Mexican companies, a founding member of Skyteam, alongside Air France.

In July 1981, a company flight crashed on landing in Chihuahua (north) due to bad weather, killing 32 people.

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