23 Dec 2009

Passengers hurt as plane overshoots Jamaica runway

11:01 pm on 23 December 2009

Forty people have been injured when an American Airlines Boeing 737 overshot a runway and crashed while landing at Jamaica's international airport.

Flight AA 331 from Miami, with about 150 people on board, is reported to have broken apart after the incident at Norman Manley International Airport, the BBC reports.

Jamaican Information Minister Daryl Vaz said 44 people had been taken to nearby hospitals for treatment.

American Airlines said the impact had broken off the right engine.

Spokesperson Tim Smith said the fuselage was cracked and the main landing gear had collapsed.

Local journalist Roland Henry, who was one of the first people on the scene, said the plane had halted near the beach.

Mr Henry said the passengers had thought the plane was landing normally before there was a series of jolts and luggage fell from overhead lockers. He said some people suffered serious injuries.

A spokesperson for the US Federal Aviation Authority said the flight originated in Washington DC.