First the passengers applauded what seemed like a smooth, safe landing. Then all hell broke loose.
In a horrid torrential tropical downpour, the mood on American Airlines Flight 331 instantly went from relief to outright terror as the jet skidded off a runway in Kingston, Jamaica, and slammed to a stop so violent that the jet broke into three pieces.
"The crash was just an instant," Andrew Palau, one of 151 passengers and crew who all miraculously survived the crash, told The Post.
The cabin lights went out. "It was like someone just flipped the switch. It went completely black for two or three seconds," said Palau, a minister from Portland, Ore.
"When the emergency lights came on, it was another world."
As the stench of jet fuel wafted through the cabin, some passengers screamed in fear. But the evacuation was orderly.