Aviation News

August 1, 2011

NTSB Joins Caribbean Airlines Crash Investigation

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The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) announced Sunday that it had mobilized crash investigators to assist the government of Guyana following the crash of a Caribbean Airlines 737. More than 40 people were injured on early Saturday morning when the passenger plane crashed during bad weather at Cheddi Jagan International Airport in Guyana.

Caribbean Airlines 737-800 crash at Guyana Georgetown Airport

The accident involving flight BW523 happened at around 1:32 am local time when the Boeing 737-800 (9Y-PBM) was attempting to land at the airport. It was flying from New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport with a stop in the Port of Spain in Trinidad.

Airline officials said a total of 157 passengers and six crew members were on board the aircraft, which broke up in two during the crash. “Caribbean Airlines immediately activated its emergency response programme and is in direct contact with the relevant authorities,” the airline said in a statement.

Although the airline refused to provide information about the number of injured, the Guyana government said 41 people had sustained injuries. The Diamond Diagnostic Center treated 17 patients, of which 11 were referred to the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) and 6 were sent home. The GPHC treated a total of 35 patients, three of whom were admitted, one with a broken leg and two women for further observation.

As a result of the accident, the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority decided to close the airport until 10 a.m. local time on Saturday while an investigation was conducted. “[The] perimeter around [the] aircraft has been secured by the Guyana Defence Force and police officials,” the airline said.

It was not immediately clear what had caused the accident, but local media reports said there was heavy rainfall and misty conditions in the area of the airport when the crash happened. The cause is being investigated by the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority and the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) as well as the Trinidad and Tobago Civil Aviation Authority (TTCAA) are expected to assist.

Saturday’s aviation accident was the worst accident in Guyana’s history. It was also the first crash of a plane flying for Caribbean Airlines.

With BNO News reports