A commercial airplane from the Dominican Republic crash landed at Miami International Airport on Tuesday, sending three people to the hospital with minor injuries.
Witnesses and investigators said the landing gear gave way as the aircraft operated by Red Air attempted to touch down on a runway, the Miami Herald reported. The three injured people were released from the hospital by Wednesday.
The plane caught on fire in the crash landing and passengers dashed for the exits in the chaos. According to Red Air, 130 passengers and 10 crew members were on board the flight from Santo Domingo to Miami.
“What happened here is a miracle,” Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava told local Fox affiliate WSVN, implying that passengers were lucky to escape with their lives. Levine Cava was at the airport after arriving on an unrelated flight from Philadelphia.
“Red Air (Flight) 203 from Santo Domingo had its landing gear in the nose of the plane collapse, which seems to have caused a fire,” Miami International Airport said in a tweet.
Levine Cava said she was told the landing gear collapse led to a hard landing where the plane bounced up and down before coming to a stop and catching on fire.
“The plane was jumping and jumping and jumping,” passenger Paola Garcia told WSVN. “I thought I was going to die.”
Firefighters arrived and quickly doused the fire on the McDonnell Douglas MD-82 aircraft. The many passengers who weren’t hospitalized were bused from the plane to the terminal.
Red Air began operating last year as a discount airline for passengers traveling between the U.S. and the Dominican Republic. The National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the crash.
With News Wire Services