Jamaican airliner carrying many Canadians from Guyana crashes
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.”