An American Airlines Plane Crash Lands in Jamaica

On December 22, American Airlines Flight 331, a Boeing 737-800 carrying more than 150 people, skidded off a wet runway as it attempted to land at Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston, Jamaica. The flight originated from Washington, D.C. and Miami International. All 148 passengers and six crew members on board survived the accident. Over 40 passengers were treated for minor injuries and at least two passengers were more seriously injured.

The aircraft attempted to land in heavy rain.  It touched down on the slippery tarmac just before it began to slide along the runway and through a fence before coming to rest on a sandy embankment less than 15 feet from the Caribbean Sea. The left landing gear collapsed and the fuselage was significantly cracked during the mishap. Both engines broke off on impact. Bleeding passengers were removed from the wreckage which witnesses said smelled like smoke and burning jet fuel. The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board have sent officials to investigate the wreckage and determine whether the plane should have attempted to land in bad weather.