MIAMI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, FLA. (WSVN) – Cranes and other heavy machinery are in place on a runway at Miami International Airport, as crews prepare to begin the slow and steady process of removing the damaged plane that crash-landed and caught fire earlier this week.
Since the fiery touchdown, Tuesday afternoon, team members from the National Transportation Safety Board have been analyzing the wreckage.
On Thursday, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue crews assisted by defueling the plane so inspectors could safely go inside.
NTSB officials said their investigation now needs to continue elsewhere so the airport can reopen the closed runway.
MIA officials said they’ll first begin by lifting the plane to check its belly and landing gear, and from there, they’ll move it in one piece to a hangar on the north side of the airport, near Northwest 36th Street.
If all goes well, officials said, the aircraft will be removed by Friday morning.
Red Air flight 203 made an emergency landing and slid partly into the grass at around 5:45 p.m. on Tuesday.
The NTSB confirming the plane experienced a collapse of its left main landing gear before skidding off runway 9.
“We saw the flames, and the emergency doors were difficult to open,” said passenger Mercedes Otero.
All 130 passengers and 10 crew members made it out alive.
Some passengers who lived through the terrifying moments expressed their frustration as they await answers on how and when they’ll get their luggage back.
“It’s a lot, frustrating. I have money, papers, clothes [in my luggage],” said a passenger who identified himself as Reiner. “I don’t have nothing, just this bag. It’s hard.”
The NTSB team plans to remain in South Florida for five to seven more days to continue their investigation.
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