Sunday, December 21, 2008

38 Hurt As Continental Airlines 737 Veers Off Runway in Fiery Crash at Denver

A Continental Airlines 737-500 veered off the runway into a ravine on takeoff last night at Denver International Airport. The cabin was in flames as passengers were evacuated on emergency slides, and 38 of the 112 on board were reported injured.

Weather did not appear to be a factor, as conditions in Denver were normal. Firefighters said the fire on board melted overhead bins.

Here's the Denver Post report today. The plane, Flight 1404, was taking off shortly after its scheduled 6 p.m. departure, bound for Houston, when it went off the runway.

UPDATE: 8 pm Sunday, and the dopey AP story on the wire now goes on about how it was "a miracle" that no one was killed. Oh, miracle, schmiracle. There is good luck and there is bad luck (says a guy who had some extremely good luck in a plane crash not so long ago, and who cringed every time that word "miracle" was uttered, aware that for others no less deserving, the "miracle" did not apply).

On that Continental 737 in Denver last night, my hunch is that a bunch of very skilled, very heads-up flight attendants, combined with level-headed passengers who did not panic and an extremely good response from airport firefighters, and a big dose of good luck, created this alleged "miracle." (But of course, getting that story would require actual reporting from the scene, rather than prattling on about superstitious miracles.)


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