MANHATTAN — A plane that originated in New York crashed Saturday morning in Guyana after it overshot the runway, but miraculously there did not appear to be any fatalities, according to the airline and reports.
The Caribbean Airlines plane, which operated as flight BW 523, broke in two after overshooting the runway at Cheddi Jagan International Airport, outside of Georgetown, around 1:30 a.m., according to the Associated Press.
The Boeing 737, which was carrying 157 passengers and six crew members, narrowly missed a 200-foot ravine that could have resulted in dozens of fatalities, the country's president, Bharrat Jagdeo said, according to the report.
The airline could not confirm how many people were injured or their conditions, but according to the AP, there were several.
"We are very, very grateful that more people were not injured,'' Jagdeo said, according to the report.
Rescue workers struggled to extricate the injured from the plane — which originated at JFK and made a stop at Port of Spain, Trinidad — at first because of inadequate lighting and emergency equipment, the AP said.
Passengers said that they had just begun to applaud the landing when screams erupted. One of those on board, Geeta Ramsingh, 41, of Philadelphia, said that she made her way onto the wing of the plane and then a dirt road where a taxi gave her a ride.
"I am upset that no one came to rescue us in the dark, but a taxi driver appeared from nowhere and charged me $20 to take me to the terminal," she said, according to the AP. "I had to pay, but in times of emergencies, you don't charge people for a ride."
Prama Jaikarran, of Orange, NJ, was thankful that her sons made it out relatively unscathed.
"THANKS BE TO GOD...my two sons were on the plane that crashed in Guyana this morning...THEY ARE OK...JUST A LITTLE BRUISED," she wrote on Facebook.
The airport was closed in the wake of the accident while an investigation was conducted.
The Guyanese consulate and mission to the United Nations could not immediately be reached for comment.