CaribWorldNews, FORT WORTH, Texas, Weds. Dec. 23, 2009: A hotline has been set up at the Jamaica Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade to accommodate inquiries from consulates and concerned family members of passengers on the American Airline jet, which experienced landing problems at the Norman Manley International Airport, on Dec. 22nd.
Speaking at a press conference Wednesday, Dec. 23, at Jamaica House, Minister with responsibility for Information, Daryl Vaz, said the phone lines would be manned by personnel from the airline. The numbers are: 1-876-501-9522 and 1-876-836-5900.
Meanwhile, he informed that passengers will soon be able to claim their baggage. He explained that the forensic photography of the luggage has already been completed.
`The Civil Aviation (Authority) will remove, weigh and hand over to the airline, which at that time, will make arrangements for the passengers to collect their luggage,` Minister Vaz said.
On Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2009, at approximately 9:22 p.m. Central Standard Time, American Airlines Flight 331, a Boeing 737-800 aircraft, sustained damage when it overran the runway on landing at Kingston, Jamaica`s Norman Manley International Airport.
The flight originated out of Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, operated into Miami International Airport, and then operated into Kingston`s Norman Manley International Airport.
The aircraft was carrying 148 passengers and a crew of six. Ninety people were taken to local hospitals, where they were treated for broken bones, cuts and bruises, as well as shock.
American Airlines spokeswoman, Andrea Huguely, said `Upon impact, the aircraft hit an embankment when it overran the runway, so the landing gear and the engines detached from the aircraft, as they are designed to do. The left wing tip also broke away from the aircraft. The fuselage is intact, but there are cracks in two areas.