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65 Americans onboard Aeromexico plane, pilot actions key to lives being saved

Durango, Mexico — Of the 49 people transferred to hospital from the Tuesday Aeromexico plane crash, 22 remain hospitalized but are expected to be discharged later in the week.

Only one of the pilots and one minor were reported as seriously injured. The plane’s pilot was surgically treated for a cervical injury late Tuesday night. He reportedly left the operating room at 11:00 p.m. and is said to be stable.

The youngest victim was an 8-year-old girl who received burns to 25 percent of her body. She too, has been treated and is said to be in stable condition, reported Fernando Rios, spokesman for the Ministry of Health of Durango.

Passengers not hospitalized were put up in a hotel where they waited for another flight to take them to their final destination.

Airport authorities say of the 103 passengers on the Aeromexico flight 2431 Durango-Mexico City route, 65 were Americans, one was a Colombian national and one from Spain. The balance were Mexican nationals.

The American Embassy in Mexico City says they are in contact with national and local authorities and representatives of the airline to provide necessary assistance to foreign passengers. Staff from the consulate in Monterrey moved to the city of Durango to help the American passengers.

The National Institute of Migration (INM) said they too, will provide the corresponding documents to foreigners who lost their luggage on the flight so they can renew their accreditation as legal residents or visitors.

Andrés Conesa, CEO of Aeromexico

Andrés Conesa, CEO of Aeromexico said that the official cause of the accident is still unknown, but that two black boxes were located intact, adding that the investigation will likely take months.

The general director of Civil Protection of the Ministry of the Interior, Ricardo de la Cruz Musalem, said that the following of protocol by the flight crew allowed the evacuation of the aircraft in time since they only had 90 seconds before flames erupted.

Gerardo Ruiz Esparza, Secretary of Communications and Transportation, said that the reaction of pilot Carlos Galván and the crew of the Aeromexico flight was key in no lives being lost.