The New York Times | 8/17/2010 12:00:00 AM
Jet Crash on Colombian Island Kills 1
August 17--A downpour was drenching the island of San Andrés, an idyllic speck of Colombian territory in the Caribbean. The Boeing 737-700, operated by the Colombian airline Aires, had taken off from Bogotá shortly after midnight, and it was 1:49 a.m. on Monday when passengers stirred awake as the jetliner prepared to land.
Chaos ensued. Some witnesses said they heard the bellow of thunder just before the plane crashed upon landing on the tarmac in San Andrés.
The force of the crash was so powerful that the Boeing broke apart into three pieces, its fuselage fractured. Somehow the pilot, Capt. Wilson Gutiérrez, kept the wreckage he was guiding from crashing into the airport, the authorities said.
One of the plane’s wings caught fire, but rescue workers doused that threat.
Remarkably, only one person died among the 131 on the plane, a 73-year-old woman identified as Amar Fernández de Barreto.
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