KINGSTON, Jamaica, Dec. 23 (UPI) -- An American Airlines plane overshot a runway near Kingston, Jamaica, and crashed into a fence, injuring 40 people, officials said.
American Airlines said there were 148 passengers and six crew members aboard Flight 331. Tuesday's flight originated from Ronald Reagan Airport in Washington, stopping at Miami International Airport en route to Kingston.
"Some (passengers) were shaken up badly, some are suffering from trauma and broken bones," Robert Mais, a passenger who walked away unscathed, told The Jamaican Gleaner.
"The care of our passengers and crew members is our highest priority and we will offer all the assistance necessary," said Gerard Arpey, the airline's chairman and chief executive officer, said in a statement. None of the injuries were believed to be critical, the airline said.
American Airlines spokesman Tim Smith said the Boeing 737-800 sustained damage to the fuselage, some cracks and the landing gear on one side collapsed, CNN reported. He said claims the craft broke into pieces were false.
Mark Hart, chairman of the Airports Authority of Jamaica, told The Gleaner heavy rains could have caused problems with visibility.
"It is obviously a blessing that at this time of the year, what could have turned out to be a catastrophe, we were saved from," Hart said.
Accuweather.com reports poor visibility due to intense rain, strong tailwind due to the storm, and hydroplaning on the wet runway may have played a role in the accident at Norman Manley International Airport.