Chicago area priest injured after Aeromexico airliner crashed after takeoff; no deaths reported

Rev. Esequiel Sanchez

A Chicago area priest was injured after an Aeromexico airliner crashed after taking off in the northern state of Durango on Tuesday, but the state’s governor said there were no deaths in the accident. The governor said the airliner was hit by wind gust as it left runway just before crashing .

The Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Des Plaines confirmed that Rev. Esequiel Sanchez was on the plane that crashed. The church confirmed the priest suffered a broken arm. The church said Rev. Sanchez is OK and is asking for prayers everyone involved.

Ninety-seven passengers and four crew were on board the Embraer 190 aircraft, said the country’s Transportation Minister Gerardo Ruiz Esparza. Forty-nine people were hospitalized; the pilot and a passenger are in “critical but stable condition,” said Durango Gov. José R. Aispuro.

Aeromexico said the aircraft was scheduled to fly from Durango to Mexico City. The accident happened close to Guadalupe Victoria International Airport, said the airport, which is now closed.

“Our first priority is to ensure the security of our passengers and crew on board this aircraft,” the airline said.

Aeromexico said it was working with authorities to provide medical attention to the 101 people aboard the flight.

“We deeply regret this accident and the families of all those affected are in our thoughts. We’re focused on dealing with the situation and are doing everything necessary to assist the families of our passengers and crew during this difficult time,” the airline said.

Images from the scene showed flames and a column of smoke rising from an aircraft on the ground among bushes and tall grass. Rescue workers, firefighters and fire engines are also pictured.

Durango Gov. José R. Aispuro had said earlier there were no figures for the injured.

Durango is more than 550 miles northwest of Mexico City.