"He called us, telling us that he was on the plane, he had the accident, and he called from the hospital, told us he has a broken arm, and some contusions, some pain, and thanks to God nobody died", he said. "We heard a loud noise behind us-and the next thing we knew it was starting to smoke and fire". Then we hit [the ground and] the plane slid forward.
"You have less aircraft that are running into mountaintops" because of systems that warn pilots if they are close to the ground, said Mark Millam with the USA -based Flight Safety Foundation.
An image taken using a drone and obtained by AFP shows the aircraft immobilised in a field at the end of the runway.
Ramin Parsa, a Chicago resident and passenger aboard flight AM2431, was recording out the window in the passenger cabin then the plane slammed into the ground Tuesday.
Father Sanchez had plans to celebrate his 50th birthday, and was accompanied on the flight with about 15 others from the Chicago area. Rivera said it was dark, gloomy and raining when they boarded the plane.
"The fire started after the emergency landing" but "fortunately no one suffered burns", said Cardoza.
Mexican officials say the control tower reported the Embraer 190 jetliner descended abruptly as it attempted take off, possibly due to a severe gust of wind.
"My mom saw the plane on the news first and had a feeling it was the plane (Al) was on", she said. The passengers were terrified, she said. Despite breaking his arm in several parts, Father Esequiel stayed behind helping others get out.
"It began to lift up and that plane did not have enough velocity", she said. "Everyone was starting to get out. People were coming out, children". "If the plane were any higher, it would have been very different".
"As we were taking off ... we ended hitting a hailstorm that caused a lot of turbulence". All I have is a couple of scratches on my leg. The pilot was the most severely hurt but was in a stable condition.
Flores said paramedics took about 20 minutes to arrive and explained that she lost all her personal belongings including her passport in the crash. "We are doing everything in our power to assist them". Paul Israel comes once a week to offer his devotion at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Des Plaines and was praying for something special Wednesday morning.
"It's not a miracle", he said. Four crew members were also on board.
"I just started, out of instinct, bracing for impact as the plane started jolting and slamming into the ground", Herrera told NBC.