A man who captured footage from inside the cabin of an Aeromexico flight that crashed shortly after takeoff could be heard desperately crying out to Jesus just as the plane impacted the ground.
— NBC News (@NBCNews) August 2, 2018
“People are screaming, and I was praying – I was praying to de nombre Jesus, de nombre Jesus, so Jesus saved our lives,” passenger Ramin Parsa told NBC News of the horrific accident. “Jesus Christ is alive. He saved me from a plane crash. Forever I’m grateful to Him,” Parsa wrote on Twitter following the ordeal. His Twitter bio describes him as “An ex-Muslim whose life the Lord Jesus has changed. I Serve Christ to make His Love known.”
I'm a former Muslim whose life Christ Jesus has changed. I owe my life to Jesus. He is both Lord and savior. He is gracious and forgiving.
— Ramin Parsa (@ramin_parsa) September 4, 2017
Miraculously, all 99 passengers and four crew members survived Tuesday’s crash of Flight 2431, en route from Durango, Mexico. An Illinois priest, Father Esequiel Sanchez of Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe church in Des Plaines, was also aboard the fated flight. “I do think it was a miracle,” Sanchez said. “If the plane was traveling a little faster before it hit the embankment or flew a little higher, I don’t think we would have walked out.”
The Archdiocese of Chicago released a statement, which read:
“The Archdiocese of Chicago has learned that Very Rev. Esequiel Sanchez, director of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, was onboard an Aeromexico flight that crashed in Mexico’s state of Durango on Tuesday, July 31, 2018. He sustained some injuries but we are grateful to learn he is alert and resting. We pray for Fr. Sanchez and everyone affected by this plane crash.”
The Airplane that I was in Aeroméxico flight #AM2431 crashed after take off. I’m fine by the grace of God. It’s a miracle of God that we are alive.Iowe my life to Jesus.The devil thought he can take my life but he just made me more committed to Jesus.There was was a big storm.
— Ramin Parsa (@ramin_parsa) August 1, 2018
“I fell from the sky and survived,” passenger Al Herrera told CNN as he prepared to board another flight back to his hometown of Chicago.
“People die when planes crash. And here I am, as a survivor, taking another plane,” he added.
Another person on board, Dorelia Rivera, said she was flabbergasted that the aircraft pushed forward to take off in such treacherous weather conditions. “I travel all the time for work, at least once or twice a week, and I said, ‘There’s no way we’re going to leave,'” Rivera told WLS. “And then lo and behold, we started moving and I said, ‘OK, I guess we are going.’ I really was surprised that we were going to leave with the weather the way it was.
“I just grabbed my daughter and went as hard as I could,” Rivera added. “I honestly thought I was going to break her arm because I finally grabbed onto her hard enough and I’m like, ‘I’m not letting you go.'”
In the wake of the crash, many of those onboard, as well as several aviation experts, suspect that pilot error was to blame for the fiery wreck. Travel industry analyst Henry Harteveldt told CBS News that investigators would be focusing on the moments leading up to take-off.
“Pilots have the right, by the way, to say I don’t think it’s safe, I don’t care what the airline says,” Harteveldt explained. “I’m not going to be taking off until I’m convinced it’s as safe as it’s going to be.”
Investigators have confirmed that both black boxes have been recovered from the crash site.