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MEXICO CITY (CBSMiami) – Americans who were onboard an Aeromexico plane that crashed on takeoff are slowly returning home.
One family had an emotional reunion with loved ones in Chicago. Dorelia Rivera and her 14-year-old daughter Kayla Martinez were two of the 103 people who survived the crash in Mexico on Tuesday. Wednesday night they finally made it home, embracing family members they never thought they’d see again.
“We didn’t think we were gonna make it. I honestly have no idea how anyone survived, not one person,” said Rivera.
Video by a fellow passenger shot during takeoff shows a gray sky and thick cloud coverage as the Aeromexico plane tried to fly out of Durango, Mexico. A few moments later the cell phone video goes to black but screams and prayers could be heard from terrified passengers.
Mexican officials say the control tower reported the twin-engine jetliner descended abruptly, possibly due to a severe gust of wind. The left wing appeared to hit the ground. The plane came to a stop more than 300 yards from the runway, after losing its engines, somehow still upright, allowing exit slides to deploy.
Kayla Martinez said she and her mother ran as fast as the could away from the plane which was on fire.
“I didn’t think I was going to get here,” said Martinez.
Forty-nine people were hospitalized after the crash. The pilot and another person were the most seriously injured.