Priest celebrates 1st Mass since crash: Other survivors from flight attend service at Des Plaines shrine

08/13/18 Chicago Tribune

(Photo Credit: Ebenezer Lutheran Church's Facebook)Photo Credit: Ebenezer Lutheran Church’s Facebook

The Rev. Esequiel Sanchez, one of several Chicago survivors of a July plane crash in Mexico, shared his experiences Sunday while celebrating his first Mass since the accident.

Sanchez said during the bilingual Mass at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Des Plaines that a near-death experience makes one ask the question: “What if?” It’s a question that people tend to ignore in everyday life, but facing death makes one reflect on life, he said.

“If God gives us another opportunity, it’s because we must serve,” he said.

Sanchez was one of 102 people, including many from the Chicago area, aboard Aeromexico Flight 2431 traveling from Durango to Mexico City on July 31. The plane was caught in a microburst and shortly after takeoff crashed to the ground and burst into flames, Mexican authorities said.

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Mexico to build seaweed barriers to protect beaches

08/09/18 Washington Post

Photo: Eduardo Verdugo/Associated Press

A Mexican environmental agency said Thursday that is constructing barriers at sea just beyond its famed Riviera Maya beaches to decrease the huge amounts of seaweed washing up onshore.

Alfredo Arellano Guillermo, environment chief for Quintana Roo state, said he hopes to have the anti-sargassum structures in place by next week.

His agency said in a statement that the barriers don’t pose any risk to marine fauna and commercial boats.

Since June 19, dump trucks have hauled off more than 4 million cubic feet of sargassum from Quintana Roo’s beaches, including at the resorts of Cancun and Playa del Carmen.

Eleven U.S. passengers sue Aeromexico over plane crash

08/07/18 Reuters

Industrial PlantEleven U.S. passengers who survived an Aeromexico crash in the northern Mexican state of Durango on July 31 filed lawsuits against the airline in Chicago on Monday, according to a statement by Chicago-based attorneys Corboy & Demetrio

The Mexico City-bound Embraer 190 passenger jet smashed into scrubland near the runway shortly after take-off during what passengers have described as strong winds, hail and rain. All 103 passengers and crew survived by evacuating from the plane before it caught fire.

At least 65 passengers aboard Aeromexico Flight 2341 were U.S. citizens, including many residents from the Chicago area.

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Don’t call 12-year-old Mexican university student ‘genius’

08/03/18 Washington Post

(Marco Ugarte/Associated Press)

The youngest student ever admitted to Mexico’s National Autonomous University wouldn’t call himself a “genius.”

Carlos Santamaria Diaz, a 12-year-old who will begin classes for an undergraduate degree in biomedical physics Monday, was dwarfed by the upholstered blue chair he sat in to answer reporters’ questions Friday.

With his feet barely brushing the floor, he laughed out loud and shook his head when a reporter asked if he considered himself a genius.

“I don’t like to use that word,” he said.

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2 tropical storms storms gaining force off Mexico’s coast

08/06/18 Washington Post

hurricaneTwo new tropical storms were strengthening off Mexico on Monday and both were projected to reach hurricane force while marching northwestward parallel to the coast, bringing heavy surf.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Tropical Storm John was expected to strengthen rapidly and become a hurricane by Monday and a major hurricane by Tuesday. Tropical Storm Ileana also was growing while racing John up the coastline.

John was centered about 335 miles (540 kilometers) southwest of the Mexican port of Manzanillo early Monday, with maximum sustained winds of 60 mph (95 kph). It was moving west-northwest at 8 mph (13 kph). It was forecast to peak as a Category 3 storm before starting to weaken, while staying to the west of the Baja California Peninsula during the week.

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Lawsuit filed on behalf of Northlake teacher who was aboard plane that crashed in Mexico

08/03/18 Chicago Tribune

airplane on runwayA lawsuit was filed Thursday on behalf of a Northlake teacher who was aboard Aeromexico Flight 2431 when it crashed while attempting to take off from an airport in Durango, Mexico.

The suit is the first filed in a U.S. court against Aeromexico as a result of the incident, according to the Chicago firm Corboy & Demetrio.

The Embraer 190 aircraft crashed Tuesday after trying to take off in bad weather. There were 97 passengers and four crew members on board, the airline said. No one died.

The plaintiff in the lawsuit, Nestor Martinez, saw a plume of black smoke and a burst of flame from his seat near the middle of the plane, according to his attorneys.

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Day After Escape, Mexico Crash Survivors Resume Travel

08/02/2018 The New York Times

airplaneA day after a harrowing escape from a crashed and burning Aeromexico jetliner, many of its 103 passengers and crew went to work on resuming their travel, with some even boarding new flights from the same airport in western Mexico.

Those who escaped serious injury scrambled to find clothing Wednesday, having lost their suitcases the previous afternoon when the plane plowed into a field shortly after takeoff during a violent storm. U.S. citizens who lost their passports met with consular officials who came to Durango to assist.

Some passengers spoke of one survivor who had sworn to never get on another plane and planned to buy a car and drive back to the United States.

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