Air transport to and from the Caribbean island of San Andres remain suspended until weather conditions allow an investigation of the crash of a Boeing 737 on the island’s landing strip. Until preliminary investigations are completed, the wreckage can not be removed from the strip.
“We need to ask patience to all travelers who plan to go to San Andres and those who are waiting to leave, as the investigating commission has not yet completed the necessary investigation. And until this investigation is completed the aircraft can not be removed to again allow aerial operation,” Colombian Transport Minister German Cardona said from the port city of Barranquilla from where the emergency operation is coordinated.
Because weather on and around the island are bad, airplanes by the air force and aerial authorities were forced to land at the nearby Providencia island and were not able to reach the island of San Andres. After a second attempt to reach the island, the aircrafts were forced to return to Barranquilla Monday afternoon, the Minister said.
Until weather conditions improve, the authorities’ airplanes remain in Barranquilla and the wreckage of the Boeing will not be removed. According to the minister this means that for a few days people will not be able to travel from and to the island.
According to initial reports, the airplane crashed and broke in three pieces when lightning struck the plane as it was landing. San Andres governor Pedro Gallardo said it was a “miracle” that of the 131 persons on board only one person died.