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Three hospitalized after plane crashes at MIA and catches fire

CBS News Miami Live

Three people have been hospitalized after a plane's landing gear caught on fire while arriving at Miami International Airport.

The plane flew into MIA from the Dominican Republic at around 5:30 p.m.

There were 126 passengers on board. Miami-Dade Fire Rescue said they were all accounted for.  


Aviation expert weighs in on crash

Scott Harrington says it was a miracle more people weren't hurt in the plane crash.

"Absolutely, it seemed like, again I not exactly sure of the specifics of this flight, but it seemed like the pilots did a good job to keep it all in one piece. To get it stopped so the plane could be stopped in a position so rescue equipment can access the airplane," said the aviation expert and pilot. "Sometimes, the rescue truck are heavy pieces of equipment. If they were on the grass and it was raining out recently, you'll get stuck in the mud. You want to have the airplane in the optimum position."

We also asked Harrington about his experience in situations like this.

He says when things are going wrong, pilots are trained to be calm in the chaos.

Aviation expert weighs in on Red Air crash 03:25

"We are just hyper focused. Our brain goes into flight mode. We are focused on the problem, focused on taking care of the solution as much as we can. Sometimes if a mechanical part breaks, there's really not a whole lot we can do."

Harrington says you don't want people jumping out on the tarmac or runway from the emergency exits.

He says there are very specific procedures for the cockpit crew to coordinate with air traffic control to get rescue equipment ready to save lives.

Harrington credits the crew with doing a good job in helping to get passengers off the smoking plane.

By Jacqueline Quynh

"I thought I was going to die"

Passengers of the Red Air flight remain shaken after Tuesday's crash landing.

"I thought I was going to die, actually," said passenger Paola Garcia. "There was an old man next to me and I was hugging him. It was horrible."

Garcia is one of the 126 passengers on board the flight from Dominican Republic.

Passengers of Red Air flight remain shaken after Tuesday's crash landing 03:07

"We were bumping from side to side and all the windows like break and then everything's fine," she explained. "Then the people start running and running and I like jump and start running because there was fire and all that."

Yamil Elneser echoed what a hard crash landing everyone experienced.

"The wheel of the left side it blow away and we felt like the airplane go to the left side and it started shaking very, very hard and then the airplane went off the runway and we saw the flame," Elneser said.

All passengers were deplaned on the tarmac and boarded buses that took them to the main terminal, where they were reunited with family and friends. 

"I'm so happy! She's born again," said Paola's dad, Edwin Garcia. 

By Bobeth Yates

Passenger films sliding out of jetliner after crash

In video recorded by passenger Balo Delgado, you could be see some of the dramatic exit as he ran off the plane.

"Panic, almost panic. it was a terrible experience, actually, but like I said I feel safe. It happened like one minute and then you could see all the officers through the window doing their jobs."

Passenger films sliding out of jetliner after it crashed at MIA 00:25
By Bobeth Yates

Cellphone video captures plane skidding across tarmac

A CBS4 viewer was on the ground when the MD-82 jetliner crashed, catching it skid across the tarmac before bursting into flames.

Within a minute of the crash, several Miami-Dade Fire Rescue crews were on the scene dousing the plane with foam. 

Smoke billowed high into the sky as people rushed off the plane.


Cellphone video captures jetliner skidding across MIA tarmac 03:04
By CBS Miami Team

NTSB to investigate MIA plane fire

By CBS Miami Team

Miami-Dade mayor gives briefing on plane fire

Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava says she was flying into Miami International Airport when she was alerted to the landing gear fire.

Upon landing, she immediately went to the site of the accident to survey the damage.

"The firefighters made a miracle happen," the mayor said, adding "they arrived within in a minute." 

Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava on her way to the press briefing about the plane fire at MIA. CBS News Miami
By CBS Miami Team

Loved one gives update on passenger injured trying to exit plane

"She was very nervous. She got hit in the knee. It's not broken, but she got an injury in the knee," said Edgar Rincon. "But everyone is fine."

Rincon's sister was one of the passengers on board. She was hurt but didn't have to go to the hospital.

"She said it was crazy running out of it, running out of the aircraft, she lost her shoes and everything, and everyone was crazy there," he said.

At least three people had minor injuries that required being transported to the hospital.

Loved one gives update on passenger injured during landing gear fire at MIA 00:31
By CBS Miami Team

MIA tweets flights delayed due to landing gear fire

By CBS Miami Team

MDFR gets landing gear fire under control

By CBS Miami Team
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