Ja­maican air­liner car­ry­ing many Cana­di­ans from Guyana crashes

The Peterborough Examiner - - Canada & World - MICHELLE MC­QUIGGE

GE­ORGE­TOWN, GUYANA — A me­chan­i­cally faulty Toron­to­bound plane’s de­struc­tive emer­gency land­ing and sub­se­quent crash through a fence at Guyana’s main in­ter­na­tional air­port left its pas­sen­gers, in­clud­ing dozens of Cana­di­ans, largely un­in­jured but still badly shaken, says one of those on board.

In­vor Bedessee was among 82 Cana­di­ans on Fly Ja­maica flight OJ256, which ex­pe­ri­enced a hy­draulics fail­ure mo­ments af­ter de­part­ing from Ge­orge­town, Guyana on Fri­day.

While grate­ful to have es­caped in­jury, Bedessee said he was still pro­cess­ing the close call hours later. “I’m still shak­ing, I’m so shocked,” the Toronto man said from a Ge­orge­town ho­tel. “It’s just a shock through my body ... I tried to sleep, but I couldn’t do it. It’s not pos­si­ble.”

Air­line of­fi­cials said the Boe­ing 757-2000 air­craft ex­pe­ri­enced an emer­gency less than 20 min­utes af­ter tak­ing off from the Cheddi Ja­gan In­ter­na­tional Air­port and skid­ded off the run­way upon land­ing, dam­ag­ing its right wing and en­gine. The air­craft went to the end of the run­way where spikes de­signed to halt its progress burst sev­eral tires, Bedessee said, not­ing that sev­eral pas­sen­gers were scream­ing and pray­ing by that point. Fly Ja­maica re­ported that two el­derly pas­sen­gers had been taken to hos­pi­tal as a pre­cau­tion af­ter the land­ing, and Bedessee said any in­juries were likely sus­tained dur­ing the evac­u­a­tion process.

“Peo­ple were com­ing down, and the peo­ple at the bot­tom were not get­ting up fast enough,” Bedessee said. “They’re get­ting kicked in the back.”

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