(NEWSROOM) — The runway at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) has been opened for limited use, allowing flights scheduled for departure this morning to leave.
The runway was temporarily closed after a Fly Jamaica flight OJ256 crash landed at 02:53hrs on Friday.
Minster of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson at an emergency press conference held at the airport, confirmed that 120 persons, including two infants, were onboard the flight destined for Toronto, Canada.
Of that number, six persons received minor injuries.
“The reports are of back pain and such, no reports of any broken bones,” Minister Patterson said.
The injured received treatment at the Diamond Diagnostic Centre.
Among those onboard were 35 Guyanese, 82 Canadians, one American citizen, a Trinidadian and one Pakistani. The crew comprised of six Guyanese and two Jamaicans.
Minister Patterson explained that the flight departed the airport at 02:10hrs and at about 02:21grs, the Pilot indicated that he was experiencing hydraulic problems.
As such, preparations were made for an emergency landing but the Pilot was unable to get the aircraft to an absolute stop before the end of the runway.
The aircraft only came to halt after crashing into a fence and when its front wheel became wedged in a pile of sand being used for the ongoing airport expansion project, at the end of the runway.
The Minister confirmed that the Fly Jamaica flight crashed at the same point where a Caribbean Airlines flight crashed in 2011. However, he noted that the extended runway, though not opened at the time, served to cushion the impact.
The relevant overseas authorities have been informed and an investigation is underway.
Anyone seeking further information on relatives onboard the Fly Jamaica flight OJ256 can contact +592 600-7022 or +592 261-2281 –hotlines established at the airport.
In the meantime, Fly Jamaica is tasked with taking care of its passengers.
The Airline has since said it is providing local assistance and “will further release information as soon as it is available.”
The Ministry is set to hold another press conference at 10:00hrs to provide further updates.