A Tame Airline jet from Quito skidded off the runway Thursday morning at Cuenca’s Mariscal La Mar airport. Emergency slides were deployed when the aircraft came to a stop and the 87 passengers and five crew exited safely. Two passengers were treated at the scene for minor injuries.
According to a member of the airport ground crew, the Embraer 190 craft appeared to hydro-plane on the wet runway. Two videos of the landing appear to confirm the hydro-plane theory. Ecuador’s sierra region has experienced heavy rains since Tuesday.
The airport was ordered closed pending an investigation of the cause of the accident and removal of the aircraft. Airport administrators said the facility would reopen Saturday morning. A Lan Airline jet that was loading passengers at the time of the accident is stranded at the airport.
Tame, which is operated by the Ecuadorian government, has been plagued by financial problems in recent years and President Rafael Correa has said the airline might cease operations unless it can overcome operating deficits.