Passengers Evacuated from Burning Plane following Runway Crash in Peru

April 1, 2017
Abram I. Bohrer

Aviation accident lawyers at Bohrer & Lukeman are closely following the events surrounding the March 28th runway crash of a Peruvian Airlines commercial jetliner. At approximately 4:40 p.m., a PA Boeing 737-300 traveling from Lima to Jauja, Peru, made a hard landing at Francisco Carle Airport and slid off the runway. The plane caught fire after the failure of its landing gear. The aircraft’s 141 occupants were evacuated while the aircraft continued to burn.

The Boeing airliner, registration OB-2036-P, was performing flight P9-112, a routine operation between the two cities. As it came in for a landing on runway 31, it suffered what it suspected to be a “dual gear collapse.” As it skid from the paved landing strip into the grass, the plane erupted in flames, leaving a black trail of smoke and fire. Eyewitnesses recorded the emergency situation.

By a stroke of good fortune, there were no casualties amongst the crash’s victims. According to local media, 29 were hospitalized with injuries, though the local public prosecutor claimed there were none. The aircraft itself sustained irreparable damage.

Local firefighters extinguished the fire at the high-altitude airport, which is 11,034 feet above sea level. The airport is located 165 miles from Lima, in the Junin Region.

According to the Carlos Basombrio, the Interior Minister of Peru, the fire started when a wing scraped the runway during the landing.

“The plane couldn’t stop on the runway and they made a maneuver to stop it with the wing and that appears to have caused the fire,” said Basombrio on local network RPP.

A spokesperson for Peruvian Airlines stated, “The plane did not crash, it landed and then the fire was produced. But the exact cause of fire will be explained once the investigation has been completed.”

The Accident Investigation Commission will be investigating the incident.

This accident falls under the treaties established by the Montreal Convention in 1999, holding airlines strictly liable for proven damages to a value established by the International Monetary Fund. Pursuant to article of the Convention, airlines are liable in the event that passengers suffer bodily injury as the result of an accident. While the Convention does not define the meaning of “accident” courts in the United States have interpreted it as being an unexpected or unusual event or occurrence, external to the passenger, and not the passenger’s internal reaction to the ordinary operation of the aircraft.

Clearly, this event was unusual and unexpected. Aviation lawyer Abe Bohrer has previously represented passengers injured during crash landings and those injured during emergency evacuations who were injured while using the emergency evacuation chutes most notably Caribbean Airlines flight 523 which overran the runway at Cheddi Jagan International Airport in Georgetown Guyana in 2011 and an American Airlines flight to the Dominican Republic which caught fire and burned at JFK International Airport.

The plane crash attorneys at Bohrer & Lukeman will continue to monitor the events surrounding the Peru runway crash and will continue to update its website with any new information as it becomes available. Bohrer & Lukeman is an aviation accident law firm with years of experience representing those injured or killed in general and commercial aviation incidents. Abe Bohrer, founder of the New York-based law firm, has successfully represented clients both domestically and internationally.