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BBC : Mexico plane crash: Investigators find black box flight recorders

BBC : Mexico plane crash: Investigators find black box flight recorders
BBC : Mexico plane crash: Investigators find black box flight recorders

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Media captionLorenzo Nunez described a "strong explosion" moments after take off

Investigators have found the flight recorders from an Aeroméxico flight, which crashed in Mexico's northern Durango state on Tuesday.

All 103 passengers and crew on board survived, but 97 were injured - two seriously.

A plane's flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder - known as the "black boxes" - often hold vital clues to the moments before an incident.

At present, it is unclear exactly what downed flight AM2431.

The plane had taken off during stormy weather, and fell to earth near the runway just moments later. All those aboard managed to escape before it caught fire.

"The impact was very strong. We wanted to think it was a lightning strike," Chicago resident and passenger Lorenzo Nunez told Reuters news agency. "It was terrible, absolutely terrible."

Airline Aeroméxico tweeted on Wednesday that 64 people had been released from hospital.

Image copyright EPA
Image caption Passengers' relatives wait for news outside a hospital in the city of Durango

One of those seriously injured was a young girl who sustained burns. The other was the plane's pilot, who needed an operation on his spine but is reportedly in a stable condition.

What do we know at this stage?

Aeroméxico flight AM2431 was flying from Guadalupe Victoria International Airport in Durango to Mexico City when it crashed at around 16:00 local time (21:00 GMT) on 31 July.

International rules dictate that Mexico will lead the crash investigation, with help from Brazil - where the Embraer jet was built - and the US, where its engines were made.

The director of Mexico's civil aviation agency, Luis Gerardo Fonseca, told broadcaster ADN40 that his team were combing the crash site, assisted by the US National Transportation Safety Board and US Federal Aviation Administration.

The US State Department has confirmed that at least 65 US citizens were on board the flight.

It could potentially take months for investigators to work out what happened.

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