MIAMI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, FLA. (WSVN) – A Red Air plane remains on a Miami International Airport runway one day after it came to a crashing halt and caught fire, as federal investigators attempt to determine what caused its landing gear to collapse.
7News cameras captured the aircraft, halfway on the tarmac and on the grass, Wednesday night.
Inspectors on site have spent the entire day examining the wreckage of Flight 203 and the tower it tore through before coming to a final stop, late Tuesday afternoon.
Several passengers who were on board described the frightening ordeal.
“The situation was terrible, a fire inside the plane,” said a passenger who identified himself as Reiner.
The crash landing sent the 130 travelers and 10 crew members on board scrambling to safety.
Passenger Mercedes Otero said she initially wasn’t sure how they would be able to exit the aircraft.
“And when finally it stopped, we saw the flames. It was on fire, and the emergency doors were kind of difficult to open,” she said.
Otero and Reiner returned to MIA on Wednesday to retrieve their luggage, to no avail.
“They just tell us that the airplane is closed, that nobody can get in,” said Otero.
Officials with the National Transportation Safety Board stated it will take them days to investigate.
The federal agency sent a team of 10 to analyze every angle and detail. Wednesday afternoon, they pulled the cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder from inside. They will ship the recorders off to Washington, D.C. on Thursday.
Investigators said they need to defuel the plane to safely access the interior.
The NTSB confirmed the airliner experienced a collapse of its left main landing gear before it skidded off Runway 9.
At least three people suffered minor injuries.
Now those affected want to know when they can get back to normal.
“It’s a lot, frustrating. I have money, papers, clothes [in my luggage],” said Reiner. “I don’t have nothing, just this bag. It’s hard.”
“They should take responsibility of what happened, at least talk to the passengers and offer some sort of apology or reassure you, ‘We’re going to find your stuff. It’s going to be safe or whatever,’” said Otero.
Spokespeople with Red Air have not returned multiple attempts from 7News to comment.
NTSB officials said they expect to finish their work at the scene within five to seven days. Then, the plane will be moved from the runway.
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