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A recent airplane crash landing of American Airlines Flight 331 in Jamaica scared passengers, but did not cause any deaths. According to the AP, the airplane crash landing occurred on the runway of Kingston's Norman Manley International Airport amid pounding rain on Tuesday December 22. The reasons for the crash landing are not yet known. What is known is the landing overshot the runway and could have caused the airplane to fall into the ocean.
After the crash landing, passengers said that the airplane damage was evident. The AP quotes passenger Gary Wehrwein as saying, "I just wanted to get the hell out of there, as far as I could, because I could smell the fumes, and I knew that if it blew, it could be a pretty big fireball." The injuries sustained by the passengers were not life threatening, but they included a broken nose and cuts to the face. 13 passengers were admitted to local hospitals after the airplane crash landing.
American Airlines spokesman Tim Smith told the AP that investigations about the airplane crash landing will be handled by NTBS and the FAA: "At this point, it's now going to be in the hands of the NTSB and the FAA, plus any Jamaican government authorities that may be involved, and to start and sort of backtrack and see what happened and how it can be prevented from happening again."
In the meantime, passengers are grateful to be alive. Transport Minister Mike Henry described the airplane incident as a "Christmas miracle." The AP quotes passenger Gary Wehrwein as being grateful: "To me, it's a miracle to be alive. So, I'm just grateful for that."
This news comes just a few months after the infamous NWA Flight 188 where pilots overshot their destination because they were allegedly too busy on their laptops. We wrote about that flight on the Injured Blog here. This has driven people to call on the FAA for tighter regulations on behavior in the cockpit. There have been a series of accidents and incidents related to pilot inattention or distraction.
It remains to be seen if this was a case of pilot distraction or just bad landing conditions.
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