A passenger of the Embraer jet that crashed on takeoff in Mexico has said a strong burst of wind and hail hit the airliner, knocking it back to the ground.
Alberto Herrera, a 35-year-old web page engineer from Chicago, described the moments when the Aeromexico plane briefly became airborne before crashing belly-down onto a field beyond the runway.
“You start gaining speed and as soon as you start taking off, all of a sudden the plane starts struggling and it’s getting hit with hail,” said Mr Herrera.
“The higher up we went into the storm, the heavier the hail got and more wind got to us.
“Then all of a sudden the plane starts rocking and it starts seriously moving around and then hitting the ground.”
The fire around the wings prevented using them as exits, so Mr Herrera said he hurried to the back of the plane and started helping other people escape before the fire took hold.
Of the 100+ people on board, around 50 were taken to hospital with injuries — all are expected to live.
[Photos Credit: REUTERS)