Plane Overshoots Runway in Jamaica

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

An American Airlines flight from Miami with more than 150 aboard overshot a runway and skidded to the edge of the Caribbean Sea, injuring more than 40 people, officials said.

The Associated PressĀ  reports Flight 331 lurched down the runway of Norman Manley International Airport in the Jamaican capital Tuesday night. Crews evacuated the passengers, who had to walk along a beach in the rain to board buses to reach the terminal.

Some 44 people were taken to nearby hospitals with broken bones and back pains, Information Minister Daryl Vaz told The Associated Press.

Four people were seriously injured, said Paul Hall, senior vice president of airport operations. American Airlines said only two were admitted to the hospital and nobody suffered life-threatening injuries.

The plane's fuselage was cracked, both engines broke off from the impact, and the left main landing gear collapsed, airline spokesman Tim Smith said. Most of the injuries were cuts and bruises, and none were life threatening, he said.

U.S. federal investigators will analyze whether the plane should have been landing in such bad weather, Smith said, adding that other planes landed safely amid heavy rain.

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