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Commercial plane crashes in Guyana; no deaths

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[July 30, 2011]  GEORGETOWN, Guyana (AP) -- A Caribbean Airlines plane with 140 passengers aboard crashed while landing in Guyana early Saturday and broke in two, causing several injuries but no deaths, said President Bharrat Jagdeo.

The plane apparently overshot the 400-foot (123-meter) runway at Cheddi Jagan International Airport in rainy weather. It barely missed a 200-foot (61-meter) ravine that could have resulted in dozens of fatalities, he said.

"We are very, very grateful that more people were not injured," he said as authorities closed the airport, leaving hundreds of passengers stranded and delaying dozens of flights.

Authorities struggled to remove passengers without adequate field lights and other emergency equipment. The extent of the injuries was not immediately clear.

The plane had left New York and made a stop in Trinidad before landing in Guyana. No further details were immediately available.

The crash of the BW 523 is the worst in recent history in Guyana, and only one of the few serious incidents involving the Trinidad-based airline. It is the single largest carrier in the region, operating at least five daily flights.

[Associated Press; By BERT WILKINSON]

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



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