CHICAGO (CBS) — Her head hit the ceiling and she saw flames in the cabin in front of her.
She’s one of 15 Chicago-area survivors of Tuesday’s plane crash in Mexico.
A Chicago father describes the loud boom he heard. And a first look inside Aeromexico flight 2431 the moment it went down.
It’s still not clear why the plane slammed into the ground, but we are learning about what happened on board from all those area passengers who walked away from the crash, including a Des Plaines pastor.
CBS 2’s Mai Martinez reports from Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Father Esequiel Sanchez works at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
He said, as always, she was watching over him and the others 102 people on the plane Tuesday.
Looking at the burning wreckage of Aeromexico flight 2431, it’s hard to believe everyone survived.
That includes Father Esequiel Sanchez of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe who suffered multiple fractures to his arm, but spoke to reporters by phone from a hospital in Mexico calling the survival of the all passengers and crew a miracle.
“(If) the plane was any faster, the plane would’ve flipped. If the plane was any higher, the story would’ve been very different,” said Sanchez.
He said a storm moved in just before take off. Time lapse webcam video showed it moving through Durango.
“It began to rain very strongly with hail, and I was wondering if the pilot was going to call off the take off,” said Sanchez.
But the pilot didn’t. And video from inside the plane captures the moments that followed.
“I think it might have been a microburst that pushed the airplane back down,” added Sanchez.
Once the plane hit the ground, it burst into flames.
“The fire began to spread everywhere, and the smoke was billowing out of everything. And we’re hearing the screaming of everyone trying to get out,” he said.
Sanchez said thankfully, everyone got off the plane. Including the group of about 15 from the Chicago-area he was traveling with.
“Happily, most of them have minor abrasions, neck injuries, neck and back things. I’m so grateful that we’re alive we didn’t lose anyone, and that to me is a miracle.”
Sanchez said he needs surgery to repair his broken arm, and jokes that once it’s done, he will be the bionic priest.