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DURANGO, Mexico - At least 65 US citizens were aboard the Aeromexico passenger jet that crashed in northern Mexico, a US official said on Wednesday, as investigators combed the wreckage for clues to the cause of the accident.
The Mexico City-bound Embraer 190 passenger jet smashed into scrubland near the runway shortly after the plane took off from an airport in northern Durango state on Tuesday. All 103 passengers and crew survived by evacuating the plane before it caught fire.The US consulate general in Monterrey and the US embassy in Mexico City have been in touch with local and federal officials in Mexico and with the airline, an embassy spokesman said.
Nearly everyone on the flight suffered minor injuries, Mexican officials said.
Luis Gerardo Fonseca, director of Mexico's civil aviation agency, told local news media on Wednesday that the plane's flight recorders had been found.
Commercial aircraft carry a cockpit voice recorder and a flight data recorder, commonly known as "black boxes," which can contain crucial details of the last minutes of a flight before an accident.
Video purportedly of the crash recorded from a plane window showed a dark sky and fog and the ground still visible moments before a thud and shrieking passengers were heard.
Reuters could not independently verify the video.
"The impact was very strong. We wanted to think it was a lightening strike," said Chicago resident and passenger Lorenzo Nunez. "It was terrible, absolutely terrible." Nunez said he had been visiting family in Durango.
A time-lapse video posted by Webcams of Mexico, filmed during the hour before the crash, showed dark clouds and fog or rain moving in.
Officials said it was too early to say what caused the crash of flight number 2431.
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