Priest returns to Chicago after surviving Aeromexico crash

CHICAGO — A large group of parishioners welcomed the Rev. Esequiel Sanchez back to Chicago after he survived a plane crash in Mexico.

Sanchez, the rector of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Des Plaines, arrived at Chicago O’Hare International Airport on Friday in a wheelchair and with his arm in a sling.

He was injured Tuesday when an Aeromexico plane taking off from the Mexican state of Durango suddenly crashed.

All 103 people on board made it out safe before the plane burst into flames. Fifteen people, including Sanchez, are from the Chicago area.

“We’re all hurting,” Sanchez said, “but we don’t mind hurting because we are alive and well and back home.”

He continued: “The entire experience was terrorizing. We shouldn’t be here. But that’s why they call it a miracle flight. … We got through this by the skin of our teeth. We can analyze it all day, but at the end of the day, it’s providence.”

Sanchez said he and others who weren’t as severely injured returned to the plane to help get those who had more serious injures.

Before returning to his duties in Des Plaines, Sanchez said he’ll go to the hospital for a complete check up.