Passengers are praising God after miraculously surviving a horror plane crash in Mexico’s state of Durango. All 103 passengers and crew on board the Aeroméxico flight survived the crash but 97 of them were injured when the aircraft came down shortly after takeoff.

State Governor José Rosas Aispuro said that a strong gust of wind struck the plane just after it left the ground, causing the aircraft to plummet. The left wing scraped the ground, before both engines detached and the fuselage came crashing to the ground. 

Incredibly most of the passengers were able to escape the stricken Aeroméxico jet before it burst into flames. Passenger Jackeline Flores recalled the moment she and her fellow passengers ran through the engulfing smoke and flames to safety. “A little girl who left the plane was crying because her legs were burned,” she said, before adding that she felt “blessed and grateful to God” that everyone survived.

“The second impact was a lot stronger. This is when I jumped and hit my head against the ceiling,” another survivor, Illinois resident Annabel Estrada, told CNN. “After the second impact, I saw flames in the cabin ahead of me.”

“It was really, really ugly,” said Lorenzo Nunez, an American who who fled the plane with his two sons and wife.

“It burned in a question of seconds,” he told reporters, according to the Independent.

Andres Conesa, the chief executive of Aeromexico said: “Our heart is with those affected and their families. We are deeply saddened by this incident and we would like to assure everyone that Group Aeromexico offering its support, thoughts and prayers to those affected and their families. We are doing everything in our reach to assist them and their families.”

Forty-nine people were hospitalized following the accident, including the pilot and a passenger who are currently in “critical but stable condition,” according to Aispuro.

ABC 7 reported that a Chicago-area priest was also on board, and is currently being treated in hospital. Father Esequiel Sanchez of Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe church in northwest suburban Des Plaines suffered a broken arm in the crash. 

The Archdiocese of Chicago released a statement, which read:

“The Archdiocese of Chicago has learned that Very Rev. Esequiel Sanchez, director of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, was onboard an Aeromexico flight that crashed in Mexico’s state of Durango on Tuesday, July 31, 2018. He sustained some injuries but we are grateful to learn he is alert and resting. We pray for Fr. Sanchez and everyone affected by this plane crash.”

One thing is for sure, Sanchez has a whole host of prayerful support as he recovers from his traumatic ordeal. “Let me tell you one thing, Sunday there’s going to be a lot of people praying and asking for healing,” said parishioner Alberto Espinoza. 

Another member of his church, Karina Ramirez, said that the priest had a “good energy.”

“When you’re around him you’re always smiling, he’s always wishing you the best,” she added.

When you look at the damage caused by the impact, it is absolutely staggering no one was killed. Pray for all those involved, that they may make a speedy recovery!

Written by: Will Maule
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