DENVER (AP) – Strong, gusty wind was blowing when an airliner veered off a runway during takeoff and caught fire at Denver International Airport, injuring 37 people on Dec. 20, according to an initial federal report.

However, the National Transportation Safety Board report says the wind – blowing at about 27 mph with gusts to nearly 37 mph – was not so strong that the pilot would not have been able to take off, The Denver Post reported Saturday.

Houston-bound Continental Flight 1404 had 110 passengers and five crew members aboard when it veered off a runway during takeoff. The plane traveled about 2,000 feet across open fields, an airport taxiway and a raised service road before coming to rest near a DIA fire station.

The main landing gear was sheared off the Boeing 737-500 and its nose gear collapsed.

Initial reports were that 38 people were injured, but the NTSB report says there were 37 injuries.

Federal investigators are still trying to determine what caused the accident. They have inspected the wreckage and interviewed passengers and crew members, including the pilot.

Continental spokeswoman Kelly Cripe has said that the pilot was hospitalized for at least five days after the crash but has been released from the hospital.

Airline officials have not described the pilot’s injuries.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.