Dozens of people were injured as an airliner crashed on takeoff during a heavy hail storm in northern Mexico, engulfing the plane in flames, the airline and passengers said Tuesday.
Passengers said there had been “a strange movement” on takeoff and “that was when the accident happened,” Durango Governor Jose Rosas told the Milenio television channel.
Dozens of lightly injured passengers left the plane, which was engulfed in gray smoke in a field. Witnesses said there were “about 80 injured.”
The plane carrying 97 passengers and four crew heading from Durango to the capital Mexico City, “crashed on take off” around 4:00 pm (2100 GMT), the country’s Transport Minister Gerardo Ruiz Esparza said on Twitter.
Aeromexico said it was “working to verify the information and gather details.”
The first images of the crash site shared on social and Mexican media showed a plane partially immersed in flames.
“I pray that the crew and all the passengers are OK,” said Mexico President Enrique Pena Nieto.