MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – A total of seven people, including a pregnant woman, were injured Tuesday during a rough landing that caused a plane to catch fire at Miami International Airport, the airline confirmed on Wednesday.
According to a spokesperson for RED Air, five people have been released from the hospital and two others remained hospitalized Wednesday morning, including the pregnant woman, although they are expected to be released later in the day.
In a statement, the airline, which just began operations last November, said there were 130 passengers and 10 crew members onboard the plane from Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic to Miami.
The Federal Aviation Administration reported that the plane’s landing gear collapsed before the rough landing at 5:45 p.m.
Officials with the National Transportation Safety Board said Wednesday that the plane experienced a collapse of its left main landing gear during landing and that the agency has recovered both the cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder.
Paola Garcia said she knew something was wrong when the plane began to move from side to side. She said she then saw windows crack and a wing on fire.
Yamil Elneser said the plane was shaking and they felt like the plane landed without wheels before it spun off the runway.
“I feel alive again. I thought I was going to die,” Garcia said.
The passengers evacuated down a slide as smoke billowed.
“We saw smoke and flames and we got out of the plane through the emergency exit on the window, on top of the wings, and then from the wing, down,” Alfredo Machado told ABC News.
Miami-Dade firefighters arrived to find the plane’s wing on fire. Buses at the airport took the passengers to a terminal where some were reunited with loved ones.
The National Transportation Safety Board reported a federal team will continue to investigate on Wednesday.
RED Air confirmed in a statement that the Dominican Republic’s Investigative Commission of Aviation Accidents will also investigate.
The airline’s full statement can be read below:
“RED air airlines informs the general public that this past Tuesday June 21st at 5:45pm, flight number L5-203 covering the route between the cities of Santo Domingo and Miami, presented technical difficulties after landing in the Miami International Airport (MIA).
“We would like to inform you that all 130 passengers and 10 crew members were evacuated and assessed according to the protocols established and all of the applicable due processes in these cases have been met.
“The Investigative Commission of Aviation Accidents (CIAA in Spanish), body attached to the the Dominican Civil Aviation Institute, along with the local authorities in the city of Miami have begun the pertinent investigations in order to determine the circumstances of the event.
“At RED Air we express our absolute solidarity with the passengers and crew of the aircraft.”