Passenger plane crashes in Guyana, no deaths

09:52, July 31, 2011      

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The broken fuselage of a Caribbean Airlines' Boeing 737-800 is seen after it crashed at the end of the runway at Cheddi Jagan International Airport in Timehri, Guyana, Saturday, July 30, 2011. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

A commercial plane carrying 162 people crashed early Saturday while landing in Guyana, causing several injuries but no deaths, the Guyanese government said.

The latest reports from Guyana quoted a government spokesperson as saying that the Boeing 737-800 aircraft apparently overshot the 2,200-meter runway in rainy weather at Cheddi Jagan International Airport near the capital of Georgetown.

The plane, which had 154 passengers and eight crew members aboard,broke into two pieces upon landing and slid down a slope before barely missing a 60-meter ravine,said the spokesperson, who added that only a few people were injured in the crash.

"We are very, very grateful that more people were not injured," Guyanese President Bharrat Jagdeo was quoted as saying in earlier reports, which put the number of people aboard the plane at 140.

Following the crash, the worst in the South American country's recent history, Guyanese authorities closed the airport and launched an investigation.

The Trinidad-based Caribbean Airlines, which operates the BW 523 flight from New York to Georgetown, said it was sending a team to Guyana to help investigate the crash.

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