June 22, (THEWILL) – A plane with 126 passengers on board, burst into flames when its landing gear collapsed after touchdown at Miami International Airport, Tuesday evening.
The Red Air flight was arriving from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, when it skidded along the runway, ripped through a communications tower and came to a stop on the grass.
The accident, involving a McDonnell Douglas MD-80 aircraft operating as Red Air Flight 203 from the Dominican Republic, occurred around 6 p.m. local time, US Federal Aviation Administration said in an emailed statement.
A tweet from the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department, said the fire has since been extinguished, and three people were transported to area hospitals for treatment
Photos and video on social media showed flames and black smoke rising from the jet as it skidded to a halt.
The US National Transportation Safety Board said in a tweet that it has sent a team of investigators to the scene, following a “gear collapse and runway excursion.”
Reports suggested that the plane hit a communications tower and a small building after landing before finally coming to stop in a grassy area.
Initial reports on Twitter suggested that the flight’s passengers had been able to exit the plane safely, with only a handful suffering minor injuries.
The plane was quickly doused in foam by fire crews
It is not clear whether the issue with the landing gear happened during the flight or as the aircraft landed.
US-based journalist, Moshe Schwartz, said on Twitter: “Reports of a plane – arriving from Santo Domingo at Miami International Airport – has caught on fire after its landing gear collapsed.
“Four people have minor injuries per reports, after the Red Air civilian airliners landing gear collapsed causing a fire to break out. 126 people, including 11 crew members were on board.”
Red Air, based in the Dominican Republic, only started flying last year. The carrier has four MD-80 family jets (including the one that crashed) and employs more than 50 people, according to its website.
Report on Planespotters.net, said the plane involved in the accident was almost 32 years old and has spent up until 2015 flying for American Airlines Group Inc.