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San Andres Plane Crash

3,000 tourists stranded on San Andres

Aug 18, 2010

Almost 3,000 tourists are stranded on the Colombian Caribbean island of San Andres because the wreckage of Monday's plane crash remains on the airport's runway.

Aires President Francisco Mendez said that U.S. experts are expected to arrive in San Andres Tuesday to investigate the crash.

The accident reportedly occurred when a lightning bolt hit the aircraft, causing it to crash into the runway and splitting the plane's fuselage into three pieces.

All commercial flights out of the island are closed, and only small aircraft and private ambulance planes are permitted to land and take off from the island.

Mendez said that two Colombian government aircraft, and an Aires aircraft with a seat capacity of 37, will be used to evacuate tourists trapped on the island.

The Aires representative said that of the 3,000 stranded, 240 are Aires passengers.

Three people injured in the crash - a German, a Colombian woman, and an 11-year-old Colombian girl - remain in the intensive care unit of a Bogota hospital.

The three were in the first group of thirteen crash victims who were flown to the Colombian capital for treatment. According to local media their condition is stable.

3,000 tourists stranded on San Andres
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