Aviation News

August 16, 2010

AIRES Jet Carrying 131 Crashes and Breaks Up at Colombian Airport; Only One Passenger Killed

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By: BNO News
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AIRES 737-700 HK-4682 crash

Wreckage of the AIRES 737-700 (HK-4682) which crashed at San Andres, Colombia while landing in a storm. (Photo by Richard García / Eduardo Lunazzi – El Tiempo)

A Boeing 737-700 belonging to AIRES crashed at Gustavo Rojas Pinilla International Airport on the Colombian island of San Andres on Monday, authorities said.

The aircraft, which was carrying 121 passengers and six crew members, left Eldorado Airport in Bogota about two hours before the crash happened at the airport in San Andres, about 140 miles east of Nicaragua’s coastline. It attempted to land during a storm and was presumably struck by lightning upon landing.

“The aircraft that covered the Bogota-San Andres route was landing in the middle of a strong storm and lighting may have caused its loss of control in the heading of track 06,” Said Gustavo Barrero, commander of the Colombian Air Force.

Airport officials said one adult female passenger had been killed, while 114 others were injured as the plane split apart. Their injuries ranged from minor to serious injuries and five passengers are reported to be in delicate condition.

The woman died of a heart attack moments after the accident. She passed away while she was being transported to a local clinic.

The quick response of the crew, firemen and policemen avoided that the Boeing 737-700 caught on fire as the stewardess helped with the evacuation of passengers, according to El Tiempo.

“Aires regrets the incident which happened on flight 8250 from Bogota to San Andres,” the airline said in a statement. It said relatives of the passengers can call 018 000 94 94 90 for information and assistance. A room has also been opened for relatives at the Sheraton Hotel in Bogota.

A commission of the Colombian Air Force (FAC) began an investigation regarding the Aires’ Boeing 737-700 accident in order to clarify the facts that caused the tragic event and more information will be available as the FAC concludes its research.