Passengers Recount Scary Moments From Plane's Hard Landing and Fire in Miami: 'Thought I Was Going to Die'

The Federal Aviation Administration tells PEOPLE officials believe the landing gear of RedAir Flight 203 "collapsed" upon arrival at Miami International Airport on Tuesday

Passengers Recount Scary Moments As Plane's Wing Catches Fire During Landing At Miami Airport
Photo: Miami Dade Fire and Rescue

Passengers on a flight from the Dominican Republic to Miami were shaken up Tuesday when their plane made a hard landing and caught fire.

Preliminary information shows the landing gear of RedAir Flight 203 "collapsed" upon the plane's arrival at Miami International Airport around 6 p.m. local time on Tuesday, according to a statement from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) obtained by PEOPLE.

The Miami International Airport also said in a tweet that the landing gear collapsed, noting that it occurred "in the nose of the plane."

Miami Dade Fire and Rescue said in a statement obtained by PEOPLE that crews found "one of the wings of the aircraft on fire" upon arrival. Foam trucks were used to help stifle the blaze, spokesperson Erika Benitez said.

RedAir said 130 passengers and 10 crew members "were evacuated" from the plane after it experienced "technical difficulties" following its trip from Santo Domingo, according to a Spanish-language statement shared by the airline.

Three people were taken to local hospitals, according to Benitez and tweets from Miami Dade Fire and Rescue and Miami Mayor Daniella Levine Cava.

"At Red Air, we express our absolute solidarity with the passengers and crew of the aircraft," the airline said in its statement on Twitter.

Footage of the plane via Miami Dade Fire and Rescue shows significant damage to the nose of the plane as well as its left wing.

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Many passengers on the flight, which the FAA said originated from Las Américas International Airport in the Dominican Republic, were horrified by the experience.

One young passenger, Paola Garcia, feared for the worst, according to CBS station WFOR-TV: "I thought I was going to die, actually."

Another passenger, Yamil Elneser, said a wheel on the left side of the plane flew off, which led to some scary moments.

"We felt like the airplane go to the left side," Elneser explained to WFOR-TV, "and it started shaking very, very hard and then the airplane went off the runway and we saw the flame."

Garcia also saw the flame, according to ABC affiliate WPLG. She told WFOR-TV that she hugged a man sitting next to her during the "horrible" experience.

Passengers Recount Scary Moments As Plane's Wing Catches Fire During Landing At Miami Airport
Miami Dade Fire and Rescue

"We were bumping from side to side and all the windows break, and then everything's fine," Garcia recalled. "Then the people start running and running and I jump and start running because there was fire and all that."

Balo Delgado, another passenger on the flight, recorded the chaos following landing via his cell phone. Several people can be seen and heard attempting to rush off the plane in the footage obtained by WFOR-TV.

Though he ultimately felt "safe," Delgado told the outlet "it was a terrible experience."

"It happened, like, one minute," he explained, "and then you could see all the officers through the window doing their jobs."

In addition to getting the blaze under control, crews also "mitigated a fuel spillage from the aircraft," Miami Dade Fire and Rescue tells PEOPLE.

Several agencies are now investigating the incident. The FAA confirmed in its statement to PEOPLE that it is among them.

The Dominican Republic Civil Aviation Institute (IDAC) is also conducting an investigation, according to RedAir's statement.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NSTB) will be at the scene on Wednesday, according to a tweet from the board.

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