CRASH UPDATE: US to assist in probing Caribbean Airlines crash

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Saturday July 30, 2011 – Civil aviation authorities in Guyana are getting help from the United States’ National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) in their investigation into the crash landing of a Caribbean Airlines (CAL) plane this morning.

CAL confirmed that the NTSB has agreed to assist in the probe, along with the Trinidad and Tobago Civil Aviation Authority (TTCAA).

The Guyana Civil Aviation Authority is spearheading the investigation that is aimed at determining what caused the Boeing 737-800 aircraft to overshoot the runway at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport, and crash through the perimeter fence, breaking in two in the process.

Of the 157 passengers and six crew members on the flight, BW 523, four sustained serious injuries.

Initial reports indicate that heavy rainfall had affected the pilot’s visibility, but the Trinidad-based CAL said it could give no official cause of the crash at this time.

“We are guided by both Guyanese and U.S. authorities which limit our availability to communicate details of the event unless they are confirmed by the relevant authorities,” it said in its third statement following the accident.

“We ask for your understanding as the airline must take strict precautions to ensure all the facts are accurate before they are released.”

CAL Chairman George Nicholas led a team of senior airline officials to Guyana following the accident.

The aircraft is being guarded by the Guyana Defence Force and police.

Operations at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport have resumed. Click here to receive free news bulletins via email from Caribbean360. (View sample)