On Tuesday 31 July at approximately 1600 local time, an Aeromexico Airlines Embraer ERJ-190AR jetliner, XA-GAL (SN 190-173) and flying as flight AM2431, crashed while taking off from runway 03 at General Guadalupe Victoria International Airport in the northwest Mexican state of Durango. The flight was bound for Mexico City, roughly 550 miles southeast of Durango, with 99 passengers and four crew members on board. Reports coming from the crash site indicate 85 of the 103 souls on board were injured, two of them critically, but relatively few and minor burns and no deaths have been reported.
The airport was closed after the accident occurred. Aeromeico commented, “Our first priority is to ensure the security of our passengers and crew on board this aircraft. We deeply regret this accident and the families of all those affected are in our thoughts. We’re focused on dealing with the situation and are doing everything necessary to assist the families of our passengers and crew during this difficult time.” An investigation into the crash is ongoing.
A Durango Civil Protection spokesperson indicated that 49 of those onboard the plane have been sent to local hospitals. Some survivors were able to walk away from the crash to a nearby road; some made it back to the airport terminal. The jetliner came to rest just less than 400 yards from the end of runway 03. The aircraft attempted takeoff during a heavy thunderstorm with hail when what has been described as a probable microburst forced the jet to descend. The pilot, Captain Carlos Meyran, is being hailed as a hero because he avoided a total breakup of the aircraft when it contacted the ground in a nose down attitude. Meyran may have been the most seriously injured aboard the jetliner but his injuries are reportedly not life-threatening. The ERJ-190AR was delivered to Republic Airlines in 2008. Since 2014 the aircraft has flown with Aeromexico.