Miracle at the Palisadoes
December 2009 will go down in history as the month in which the aviation industry survived another scare with no fatalities, this time in Kingston, Jamaica. Perhaps a little less stunning than the Hudson River experience, but thank God for the Miracle on Palisadoes.
I have a fear of flying. I will never go bungee jumping, and will never return to Splash Mountain at Disney. So the breaking news that an American Airlines Boeing 737 skidded off the runway and broke in two after landing at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston, Jamaica on Tuesday night of December 22, 2009, does not settle well with me. Especially since I travel abroad regularly. But I do take take some comfort that not one person perished in the ordeal. Four are seriously injured, but the injuries are not life-threatening.
The plane was American Airlines flight 331 from Miami with 145 passengers and 7 crew members. The flight originated in Washington DC. Some passengers made connections from as far as Canada.
Paul Hall, Senior VP at Norman Manley Airport in an interview with Milton Walker of Television Jamaica said that passengers were sent to Kingston Public Hospital, Medical Associates, Andrew Memorial Hospital and the University Hospital of the West Indies.
“I have never seen so many emergency vehicles coming in at one time,” said one TV reporter who had visited the Kingston Public Hospital shortly after the crash. He saw crash victims arriving at the hospital with "all sorts" of injuries.
The TV coverage is saying that the plane can be seen from the main road which runs from Port Royal to Kingston. Evidently the craft overshot the runway, ripped through the perimeter fence, and either bounced over the road or ran across it, and came to a halt in the sand dune on the other side of the road.
Talk about Miracle on the Hudson, I agree with Milton Walker who right now is saying that this is Miracle on the Palisadoes.
December in Jamaica is not noted for severe weather, but I am in no position to judge, I was not in the cockpit. What do I know about flying? I pray earnestly at takeoff and landing, and swear I’ll never fly again. Every time.
So I await the release from the airlines to hear the reason for the crash.
Again, thank goodness no one perished.