“It’s a miracle that we survived. Thank you God”, were the words of Davanan Sukhram, one of the passengers aboard the Fly Jamaica flight which crash-landed at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA), Timehri last Friday.
He is eagerly waiting to return to Canada.
Recollecting the events of that early morning, Sukhram, 55, yesterday stated that around 2 am on the day, he and other passengers boarded the Fly Jamaica flight.
“There was a problem with the plane before it took off”, he said, adding that some time was spent in an attempt to fix the issue.
Sukhram recalled hearing a grinding noise while the plane was on the runway but when the plane took off he noted that everything was okay. Having spent about 20 to 25 minutes in the air, Sukhram said that the passengers were told that the plane was going to turn around. On their way back to CJIA he stated that the plane was going in head up and tail down. When the plane finally touched the runway, Sukhram described its landing as a bumper ball, bouncing a lot. It was at this moment that he assumed the pilot made an attempt to stop the plane. Bags from the overhead compartments began to fall, while a door from a compartment hit two women then struck him in the back of his head and neck.
“I saw it coming, but I couldn’t do anything to stop it. I just threw it off after” he said.
When the plane finally stopped, Sukhram stated that everything jerked, then there was a lot of pushing as the emergency doors were opened.
Sukhram said, “I had a small bag with banana and my passport, that I wrapped around my hand and headed out, leaving my duty-free bags with cash and jewellery, under the seat in front of me.”
He recalled heading down the ramp, and watching as persons flipped over, in an attempt to get down from the plane. He worked alongside others to help passengers the best they could.
Sukhram added that he, along with a few other passengers began to walk to the terminal but were met by an ambulance along the way.
In pain, Sukhram along with other passengers were taken to the Diamond Diagnostic Centre, where, with sore ribs, he spent two hours being monitored for his blood pressure which was up to 190 and was not going down. They were later transferred to the Georgetown Public Hospital the following day, where they had several screenings and examinations.
Sukhram noted that he went to the St Joseph Mercy Hospital where he spent two nights and was discharged yesterday morning. While at the hospital, he had several tests performed and is relieved that no bone is broken. He did, however, suffer from whiplash and his neck has been placed in a stabilizer and he has been taking painkillers.
“It’s a miracle that we survived. Thank you God.” he added.
Sukhram is however, disappointed in the fact that the airline is yet to call him in relation to being placed on a flight to return to Canada. He stated that he has to return to the Mercy Hospital to see if he would be declared fit to travel.
He noted that on Saturday he was able to receive his luggage from the Ogle Airport, after calling the airline to inquire about its location. However, the airline is unable to locate his carry on bag that contained over US$5000 US and about 2000 Canadian dollars in jewellery for his children.
Sukhram stated that he is eager to get back to Canada so that he can see his own doctors and just ensure that everything is okay.
There were 118 passengers and 8 crewmembers aboard.
In a statement issued yesterday, Fly Jamaica said it wished to acknowledge the courage of all the occupants aboard flight OJ256 which had been en route to Toronto, Canada and which made the crash landing after problems with the hydraulics system developed on the Boeing 757. Fly Jamaica particularly cited those who were injured. Around 10 of the passengers were injured during the emergency evacuation of the plane when it landed.
Fly Jamaica said that it is too early to comment on the cause of the accident but that it was cooperating fully with the investigative authorities.