Around half of the 100 passengers and crew aboard a Boeing 737 that crashed in Peru on Tuesday may have survived the terrifying ordeal.
However at least 37 people have died, and the death toll could rise to 60 sayofficials. The accident seems to have been caused by sudden crosswinds as the plane was preparing to land. The pilot had to make a forced landing, without the use of the undercarriage, and the aircraft broke into two pieces on impact.
The TANS airline jet had left Lima for Pucallpa in the Amazon jungle, and salvage workers are struggling in dense jungle conditions and thick mud to retrieve the bodies of all the victims.
In the Peruvian capital, Lima, families gathered on hearing the news to find out what had happened to their friends and loved ones. For some there was relief, but all were shocked by the accident.
“My mother can’t speak now because she is in a bad state. My brother’s been injured. He’s twenty-five, and an officer in the army”, said one woman.
TANS Air has been involved in six accidents in the last 13 years. It is a state-run outfit that specialises in services to outposts in the dense Amazon jungle. The six planes in its small fleet are all nearly 30 years old.
The accident is the fifth worldwide this month. In all, nearly 350 lives have been lost.