A passenger’s Account Of American Airlines Flight AA331 Crash at Jamaica Airport


Passengers leaving AA31 after crash in Kingston, Jamaica

At the end of this is Jamaica Observer briefing but first I will tell you that I just left the hospital because my cousin Vicky was on Flight AA331 that left from Miami and crashed at Norman Manley Airport in Kingston, Jamaica last night. Her account is as follows from her seat in row 10…

The plane came in fast but nothing unusual except for the very bad weather (rain and high winds) Kingston was having last night. The pilot landed the plane and from all accounts it seemed normal as they was no warning from pilot or stewardesses that they were in any danger. Some of the passengers even clapped (a Jamaican tradition on safe airline arrivals). After about 10 seconds after touchdown she heard an explosion and the plane shot into the air and came down hard again a few seconds later breaking the plane in half. She saw the row in front of her disappear as the seats fell downward and the plane stopped. There was pitch blackness for 5 seconds before the emergency light came on and then she unfastened her seat belt. There were people thrown in the aisle, luggage  everywhere and she admits to trying to pull her carry on bag up from under the seat but it was stuck. With blood streaming from her face she then crawled through the hole in plane, pushed away wires and walked onto the sand as the plane had crashed near the ocean. She saw one other man and the ran together towards the street because they could smell gasoline.  A local bus then stopped and took them to the police station at airport about 5 minutes away from crash site. On the bus ride she borrowed a cell phone, called my uncle William and managed to explain her situation while in hysterics. He and my aunt left to pick her up and take her to St. Andrew Hospital where the rest of the family met her before she went for operating. She suffered a big gash under her eye and a broken nose.

Apparently due to the bad weather the pilot over shot the runway and touched down near the end of the landing strip. He couldn’t stop in time and ran through the barricade at end of runway which is about 20 feet above the road below. This shot the plane out over the road below and it crashed into the sand near the light house.

There were about 12 other people from the flight that I saw at St. Andrew Hospital which is not a high trauma hospital. The worst cases went to Kingston Public Hospital and UWI’s Hospital about 30 – 35 people at those centers reportedly.

Jason Robinson
Below is the Jamaica Observer briefing that came out after crash…

Forty passengers were reported injured after an American Airlines plane crashed and broke in two after landing at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston shortly after 10:00 pm Tuesday.

“The injured passengers have been taken to the Kingston Public Hospital,” Information Minister Daryl Vaz told the Observer. “There are no reports of fatalities.”

Vaz, along with Transport and Works Minister Mike Henry and National Security Minister Dwight Nelson were quick on the scene and engaged in a head count from the passenger manifest to determine if anyone was missing.

Flight AA331, a Boeing 737, had just arrived from Miami in pouring rain with approximately 148 passengers when the accident occurred.

“The plane crashed and broke almost in front of me,” said a shaken Naomi Palmer who was seated at seat number D8.

Palmer said she was feeling some pain and was being supported by a friend on the outside of the arrival area when she spoke with the Observer.

Emergency vehicles sirens could be heard in the background as she spoke via cellphone.

Jamaica Observer

2 Responses

  1. Sorry to know this, prayers are most definitely in order…

  2. Its almost a year and i still cant believe that i was in this accident….GOD is good to not let us die that night

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