BREAKING: Caribbean Airlines plane crash lands in Guyana

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Saturday July 30, 2011 – All 154 passengers and eight crew members on board Caribbean Airlines flight BW523 survived after the plane crash landed at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport in Guyana in the early hours of this morning, breaking in two by the time it came to a halt.

Several people had to be rescued from the Boeing 737-800 aircraft but, according to reports coming out of Guyana, their injuries are not life threatening. The pilot reportedly suffered a broken leg while others suffered cuts about their body.

The crash occurred around 1:32 am, about three and a half hours after the flight had been scheduled to arrive in Guyana before going to Port of Spain.

Initial reports indicate that heavy rainfall had affected visibility and the pilot touched down on the middle of the runway, and could not stop by the time he reached the end.

The plane only came to a halt shortly after crashing through the airport’s perimeter fence.

Government officials, including President Bharrat Jagdeo, Transport Minister Robeson Benn and Minister of Health Dr. Leslie Ramsammy rushed to the scene after the crash.

Civil aviation authorities, police and soldiers are investigating the incident.

In a statement issued about two and a half hours after the crash, Caribbean Airlines said it had immediately activated its emergency response programme and is in direct contact with the relevant authorities.

“The airline’s primary concern at this time is for those on board the aircraft and their families,” it said. “Details of the incident will be released as soon as all information has been confirmed.”

A press briefing is to be held this morning at the VIP lounge at Piarco International Airport in Trinidad. Click here to receive free news bulletins via email from Caribbean360. (View sample)