DBBL manager recalls recent plane crash in Jamaica

The Manager of the Dominica Brewery and Beverages Limited (DBBL) Lynford Gutherie was among about 150 people onboard American Airlines flight 331 when it crashed upon landing in Jamaica on Tuesday.

The aircraft was at the time destined for Jamaica from Miami after a while of delay.

“The American Airlines flight was one hour late in Miami… The pilot, when he took off, at about 10 [minutes] to 9 [o’clock], he told us that we were late, but he will make up for time; he will do it in an hour and a half to Norman Manley [international airport]. He took off, and trust me he was really shutting it,” Gutherie said.

He recalled quite a bit of turbulence during the flight.

“It was a rough ride; it was a rollercoaster ride for most of the way, and about 10 minutes prior to landing, when we were advised that we should buckle up, before we knew it, he landed. He landed at the same speed as if he was in the air and after he landed, there was some cheering … but the clapping subsided suddenly, because we realized that the plane was going even faster. He was going so fast, we thought he was going to take-off again and within seconds we shut across the runway, over the street going for the ocean, hit a barrier and that’s where the plane collapsed,” he recounted. But even while “bleeding profusely” the DBBL boss said he assisted in helping passengers out of the plane.

“I assisted in opening the emergency door. We came out on the wing because we saw smoke and we thought the plane would blow up at anytime. We escaped in water…we didn’t know where we were anyway because it was so traumatic”.

He noted that passengers were rescued by public transport and officials from the fire and ambulance department in Jamaica, but Gutherie said it is only the day after the incident, he reported to the doctor.

“I consider myself lucky… The following morning I was early at the doctor, and he treated me; he examined me. I had some busted membrane in my nose and that’s where the blood was coming from but he told me it wasn’t severe. I’m feeling much better now.”

He also spoke of head and neck pains. In light of the incident Gutherie has issued a few pieces of advice to passengers.  “Whether take-off or landing you should have your seatbelt on, once you are seated, make sure you are under your seatbelt… apparently some people have this bad habit, as the plane touchdown, they fly their seatbelt and attempting to get up, and all these sort of things which is very very dangerous,” he stressed.

“When things like this happen, and you panic, you cause more damage, because when we flew the emergency door, everybody was rushing out one time as if they were going to jump and kill themselves,” he added.

There were no reports of death from Tuesday’s crash.

Two out of the 40-plus passengers injured in the American Airlines 331 crash in Kingston, Jamaica, Tuesday have been released from area hospitals, according to the Associated Press. Investigations are ongoing into what may have caused the nonfatal “runway excursion.”

The Boeing 737-800, filled to capacity with 148 passengers and a crew of six, came down in heavy rain and overshot the runway at Norman Manley International Airport. After its landing gear collapsed and the plane started to break up, it finally slid to a stop less than 10 feet from the Caribbean Sea, The Associated Press reported.

The American Airlines plane which crashed at the Nomran Manley's Int'l Airport in Jamaica

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  1. ladiestevie
    December 29, 2009

    I am with everyone else in wishing the affected travellers a speedy recovery. I hope everyone who walked away – did so with a little more faith in God our Father in Heaven., and thanking God that it was not yet their turn.

    It strikes me as ironic that we as Jamaicans are so hard core, hard working, diligent and with Maroon blood rushing through our veins dont stand for anyones foolishness.

    Isnt is poetic that we can even manage to survive plane crash?!

    Only a pity the “me first” mentality still reigned. It would have been much nicer to read that everyone was helpful to their one another, but that is life. Hopefully everyone reading this makes a mental note to not only honour the seatbelt laws but also honour the people around them no matter the circumstance…i.e. help somebody else other than yourself, you never know when you will need that assistance in return.

  2. December 28, 2009

    yes thank god all of those people made it out great so to end the yaer we say thank you lord you’ve shown us u love us no matter what

  3. wellsa
    December 26, 2009

    God is so good!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. mouth of the south
    December 25, 2009

    thanks to the almighty father for the safety of u n the other passengers,,,,,,,,
    but i think something was wrong with the pilot,,, was he drunk etc,,,, cause by wat i read,,, i understood that he landed at relatively the same speed as when the plane was in flight,,, obviously this would lead to the landing gear being damaged,,,,,,

  5. Thankful
    December 25, 2009

    Wow, sounds pretty terrifying. Thanks to God no fatalities were incurred.

  6. Nicole
    December 25, 2009

    I agree – and to thing that I was just in Jamaica a couple weeks ago for my honeymoon..this could have been us.

  7. Hans
    December 25, 2009

    Lynford, apparently you have a good guarding angel.
    Enjoy the Christmas days relaxing.
    I’ts a pleasure that I can say: “See you next year.”

  8. JB
    December 24, 2009

    Good advice, people always tend to want to remove their seatbelts and try to grab their bags in the over head so they can get out first. Please wait until the seat belt sign is ‘off’. Thank God everyone make it out there alive. Happy Holidays everyone

  9. sunshinegual
    December 24, 2009

    Thank God the outcome wasn’t more devastating.

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