Chicagoans share their stories of survival after plane crash in Mexico

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Chicagoans who survived the AeroMexico plane crash earlier this week are now sharing their incredible stories.

Several survivors returned to O’Hare Thursday morning where they were greeted by relieved family members.

Michele Diaz's father was on the plane that crashed.

“It was just mind blowing and I was just thankful to god, everything was okay,” Diaz said.

Dorelia Rivera was sitting in the fifth row of the plane. The fire from the crash started in row seven.

“We weren't sure we were going to make it. but we're grateful that we did,” Rivera said.

“I really don't remember what happened because it all happened really fast,” said passenger Kayla Martinez.

Martinez says after the crash, passengers were screaming and she wasn't sure what to do.

“I couldn't get up myself, my mom yanked me out of my seat, and everyone started running out of the plane,” Martinez said.

Crew members opened emergency exits, which helped many passengers escape. Others climbed through a hole over the jet's left wing.

One of the passengers was Father Esequiel Sanchez of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Des Plaines. Father Zeke, as he's known, had celebrated his 50th birthday on Saturday. He helped several passengers escape. All 99 passengers and all four crew members survived the crash.

Afterwards, it wasn't easy getting on a plane back to Chicago.

“I've never been so happy to see Chicago in my life,” Rivera said.

Officials in Mexico blame the crash on a gust of wind, which hit the aircraft and sent it into a quick descent toward the ground. The pilot is being called a hero. He's still in serious condition.