As of press time, investigators were still unsure why Aeromexico Flight AM2431 crashed shortly after take off from Durango International Airport at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 31.
One theory under discussion is that a strong wind gust caused the Brazilian-made Embraer 190 plane to plummet back to the ground less than ten seconds after it lifted off.
Miraculously, all 103 passengers and crew were able to escape the plane before it burst into flames. Forty-nine people were hospitalized after the crash. Only two, including the pilot, are listed in serious condition.
Shifting winds, hail and thunderstorms were reported in the area at the time of the incident. Video taken by one passenger during takeoff showed poor visibility on the runway. Another passenger said he believed the plane was struck by lightning just after liftoff.
Sixty-five of the passengers on board the flight from Durango to Mexico City were U.S. citizens, many of them from the Chicago area.