Caribbean Fever - Your ONLY destination to all things Caribbean and more
10 Injured as Plane Crash Lands at Airport in Guyana
The lawsuit filed by Rochon Genova LLP last Friday seeks “just compensation to passengers and their families who have been harmed as a result of this dreadful accident”, a statement from the law firm said.
Four passengers, Invor Bedessee, Shanta Persaud, Harpreet Singh and Zakran Ally – all residents of the Greater Toronto Area – are proposed representative plaintiffs in the class action.
“A timely and fair resolution of this case is of critical importance to the victims and their families. Only a focused approach to this litigation, having regard to precisely what went wrong, can achieve this result,” said Joel Rochon, Managing Partner of Rochon Genova LLP, which has extensive experience in both aviation and class action litigation.
According to a statement from the law firm, the Fly Jamaica Boeing 757-23N aircraft was scheduled to depart the CJIA on November 9 at 1:30 a.m., for the Lester B. Pearson International Airport in Toronto, with 120 passengers, including two infants, and eight crew members on board.
“After a delay of approximately 40 minutes due to a technical issue with its front door, the aircraft took off. Approximately 20 minutes into the flight the pilot announced to the passengers that he was encountering an unspecified ‘hydraulic problem’ and would have to turn back. When the aircraft did touch down, the flight crew was unable to stop the aircraft on the runway, crashed through a perimeter fence and went over a sand berm, ripping off its right side landing-gear and engine. Passengers reported a chaotic evacuation from the darkened smoke filled aircraft,” it said.
“According to the Guyana Minister of Public Infrastructure in his report to the Guyana National Assembly, the flight crew did not declare an emergency with air traffic control prior to landing. As a result, emergency crash fire and rescue vehicles and personnel were delayed in their arrival at the crash scene, and passengers had to make their way back to the air terminal on their own.
“Due to the severity of this crash landing and the ensuing emergency evacuation, passengers suffered many injuries and lost valuable belongings. One woman died after the crash,” the law firm added.
The latter referred to the death of 86-year-old Guyanese Rookia Kalloo who passed away a week after the incident. Fly Jamaica has said it is “investigating” what led to her death. The family of the elderly woman had told local media that she was behaving oddly in the days that followed the incident, and when she was admitted to hospital after her symptoms worsened, they were told she had suffered a head injury.
THE FLY JAMAICA PLANE CRASH LANDED 43 MINUTES AFTER TAKEOFF. (CREDIT: CHEDDI JAGAN INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT-FACEBOOK)
Ten people were injured this morning when a Fly Jamaica aircraft carrying 120 passengers and eight crew members made an emergency landing at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) in Guyana.
Officials say none of the injuries are life threatening but did not say which of the passengers, who include two infants, were hurt.
The passengers – 82 Canadians, 35 Guyanese, one Pakistani, a Trinidadian and an American – along with six crew members from Guyana and two from Jamaica, departed the CJIA at 2:10 a.m. and were heading to Toronto, Canada, when the Boeing 757 plane began experiencing technical difficulties.
The flight, which was estimated to arrive at its designation at 6:55 a.m., returned to the CJIA airport where it landed at 2:53 a.m.
“There were no broken bones or other serious injuries reported,” a statement from the Department of Information said. “However, six passengers suffered minor injuries due to the impact to the back of the aircraft. They were rushed to Diamond Diagnostic Hospital.”
Later in the morning, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Shamdeo Persaud said 10 people with a variety of “expected sorts of injuries” were taken to hospital.
“So far, we have five persons who are under investigation further for spinal injuries…They are having further X-rays and so on done,” he said, adding that seven of them were subsequently transferred to the Georgetown Public Hospital because the Diamond Diagnostic Hospital could not handle all of them.
“They weren’t any direct injuries associated with the plane [crashing]; at this point, nothing life-threatening, although we still will look to the results, especially with the persons with spinal injures. You understand these are some of the expected kinds of injuries when you use a slide to get off of the airplane.”
Arrangements are being made to fly out the passengers, who were taken to a holding facility after the incident, from tomorrow.
The CJIA has been reopened but the Minister of Public Infrastructure David Patterson said travellers should expect some details.
An investigation is being conducted into the incident. The Guyana Civil Aviation Authority is leading the probe and the United States National Transportation Safety Board, which assists with inquiries under international rules, was notified, officials said.
The crash site has been secured by the Guyana Police Force (GPF) and the Guyana Defence Force (GDF).