A DHL Boeing 757 has made a harrowing crash landing in San Jose

It careened off the runway while attempting an emergency landing.
Brad Bergan
The DHL Boeing 757 after its crash landing.@adsbcr / Twitter

Hold on tight.

A DHL Boeing 757 careened off of its runway and shattered into pieces at roughly 1:30 PM EDT on Thursday after attempting an emergency landing at Costa Rica's San Jose Juan Santamaría International Airport, according to initial tweets that emerged immediately after the incident.

A 'hydraulic issue' may have brought the DHL Boeing 757 down

"A few minutes ago at the Juan Santamaría International Airport (Costa Rica), a #DHL Boeing 757 Freighter made an emergency landing," read an initial tweet on the incident from a Spanish aviation news service, according to Google Translate. "[The last] report between pilots and control tower, indicates failure in the hydraulic system".

Upon touching down, the airplane took a sharp turn, angling the wings out of alignment with the runway, and then all control of the vehicle was lost. This led to the jet careening off of the runway, as its gigantic fuselage snapped into two.

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One of the pilots reportedly failed to inform the control tower of a hydraulic issue, according to local media — and Press Spokesperson Josué Lara of the local fire department confirmed the plane's hydraulic issues. "A few minutes ago, it landed with two people on board, crashing inside the airport," said Lara in the local report. "Immediately the airport units were activated, as well as the Alajuela, Heredia and San José stations."

Luckily, neither of the pilots suffered serious injury through the crash landing, but the incident forced the airport to close for landings and further takeoffs while emergency responders rushed to the scene.

The crashed Boeing 757 turned back after experiencing an operational emergency

At least seven firefighter units were dispatched to the scene along with two tanker units, two extinguishing units, a rescue unit, and a foam unit. There was also the danger of hazardous materials still present on the cargo jet — although what kinds of materials specifically were unconfirmed at the time of writing.

First responders assessed the physical well-being of the two pilots.

The aircraft was a Boeing 757-2A cargo airline based in Panama City, Panama. The Deutsche Post World Net owns the aircraft, and is responsible for operating the DHL-branded parcel and express services in South and Central America.

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It had departed from the same airport at 12:34 EDT, but while traversing the air over San Carlos, it experienced an operational emergency and turned back for Juan Santamaría Airport. While some flights will be delayed for several hours, it's important to note that however horrific the crash — no one was seriously injured.

This was a developing story about a harrowing airplane crash in San Jose, Costa Rica, and was regularly updated as new information became available.