US authorities are sending a team of investigators to Miami International Airport after a passenger jet with 126 people on board burst into flames when its landing gear collapsed upon touchdown.
Three people suffered minor injuries in the accident, which occurred around 6 p.m. local time Tuesday. The accident involved a McDonnell Douglas MD-80 aircraft operating as Red Air Flight 203 from the Dominican Republic, the Federal Aviation Administration said in an emailed statement.
Photos and video on social media showed flames and black smoke rising from the jet as it skidded to a halt. The fire was subsequently extinguished, and the three people were transported to area hospitals for treatment, according to a tweet from the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department.
Passengers can be seen racing away from the burning jet as fire trucks roll onto the scene in a video posted by MiamiAirportCam.com. At least some of them escaped with their luggage.
The US National Transportation Safety Board said in a tweet that it was sending a team of investigators to the scene following a “gear collapse and runway excursion.” The team is expected to arrive Wednesday.
“I thought I was going to die, actually,” said passenger Paola Garcia, who was quoted by CBS Miami. “There was an old man next to me and I was hugging him. It was horrible.”
Red Air, based in the Dominican Republic, only started flying last year. The carrier has four MD-80 family jets—including the one that crashed—and employs more than 50 people, according to its website.
The plane involved in the accident was almost 32 years old, according to Planespotters.net. It had been in service with American Airlines Group Inc. until 2015, Planespotters data show.
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