A United States' Trans Caribbean Airways jetliner crash-landed at the St Thomas, Virgin Islands Monday (28 December), killing two passengers and injuring 51 other.
Views of aircraft wreckage, firemen and rescue workers, demolished automobile and truck.
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Background: A United States' Trans Caribbean Airways jetliner crash-landed at the St Thomas, Virgin Islands Monday (28 December), killing two passengers and injuring 51 other.
An airport controller said the Boeing 727, carrying 46 passengers and a crew of seven, bounced twice as it landed. The aircraft's left landing gear collapsed on the second bounce, he said, and then it veered off the runway. The airliner then plowed through a fence, rushing a small truck in its path, and broke in half as it came to ??? stop at the base of a steep hill near the end of the runway.
Most of the passengers used escape chutes to leave the aircraft and others escaped by crawling through holes in the fuselage. The dead were identified as a U.S. male and his ten-year-old son. Nineteen passenger were taken to hospital and thirty-two other treated for minor injuries. None of the crew was seriously injured. Aviation officials expressed amazement at the low death toll and credited crew members and passersby for the rapid evacuation of passengers from the burning plane.
Until yesterday's crash the first of a U.S. scheduled airline in 1970 - air safety experts had expected a remarkable record for this year. The only serious air accidents in the U.S. during 1970 involved airline charter flights.
The St. Thomas airport runway has been criticized by some pilots for what they describe as inadequate runway length for jets. They said a 6500-foot runway is necessary for any jet operations. The St. Thomas airport runway is 4,650 feet with a 500-foot 'overshot'.