December 22nd, 2008
09:53 AM ET

Data recorders found after Denver plane accident

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/US/12/21/colorado.plane.investigation/art.plane.kusa.jpg caption="The Boeing 737 sits on the tarmac Sunday morning after it skidded and caught on fire the night before. "]

Investigators will interview crew members and review data and voice recorders to help determine what caused a passenger plane to veer off a Denver International Airport runway and catch fire, an official said Sunday.

All 115 people aboard the Continental Airlines jet escaped Saturday evening, and of the dozens who were taken to hospitals, five were still hospitalized Sunday afternoon, said Robert Sumwalt, a National Transportation Safety Board member leading the investigation team. No deaths were reported.

Sumwalt said the flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder were recovered and appeared to be in good condition, though they were covered in soot from the fire. Both recorders were sent to Washington to be reviewed as early as Sunday night.

"We are here for one reason and one reason only, to find out what happened so we can keep it from happening again," Sumwalt said.

The flight was bound for Houston, Texas, and was taking off about 6:18 p.m. Saturday when it skidded into a ravine and caught fire.

Thirty-eight people were taken to hospitals after the accident, airport officials said Sunday. Officials said one of the five people still hospitalized was in serious condition; no one was reported to be in critical condition.

Bone fractures and bruises were the most common complaint, and there appeared to be no burn victims, fire officials said.


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