x

Society

‘Miracle’: Plane Crashes into Florida River, but No Deaths

By DAVID FISCHER Associated Press.

A charter plane carrying 143 people and traveling from Cuba to north Florida ended up in a river at the end of a runway Friday night, though no critical injuries or deaths were reported, officials said.

A Boeing 737 arriving at Naval Air Station Jacksonville from Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, with 136 passengers and seven aircrew slid off the runway into the St. Johns River, a NAS Jacksonville news release said.

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office posted on Twitter that a marine unit responded to assist. The plane was in shallow water and not submerged. Everyone on the plane was alive and accounted for, the agency posted, with 21 adults transported to local hospitals in good condition.

A photo posted by deputies shows a Miami Air International logo on the plane. The company didn’t immediately respond to messages from The Associated Press.

Capt. Michael Connor, the commanding officer of NAS Jacksonville, said during a news conference that passengers were a mix of civilian and military personnel. Some were staying in the area, while others were set to fly on to other parts of the country.

While the crash certainly wasn’t ideal, Connor acknowledged that it could have been much worse.

“I think it is a miracle,” Connor said. “We could be talking about a different story this evening.”

It wasn’t known how long it would take to remove the plane from the river, but Connor said the landing gear appeared to be resting on the river bed, making it unlikely for the aircraft to float away. He said crews began working to contain any jet fuel leaks almost immediately after securing the passengers’ safety.

Liz Torres told the Florida Times-Union that she heard what sounded like a gunshot Friday night from her home in Orange Park, about 5 miles (8 kilometers) south of NAS Jacksonville. She then drove down to a Target parking lot where police and firefighters were staging to find out more.

“I’ve never seen anything like this,” she said.

The Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department posted on Twitter that approximately 90 personnel responded to the scene, adding that the department’s special operations team had trained with marine units for a similar incident earlier Friday.

Navy security and emergency response personnel were on the scene and monitoring the situation, the Navy release said. Family members who were expecting the arrival of passengers were instructed to stand by.

Officials did not immediately say what caused the plane to leave the runway. Boeing said in a tweet Friday night that it was investigating: “We are aware of an incident in Jacksonville, Fla., and are gathering information.”

The Federal Aviation Administration was referring media inquiries to NAS Jacksonville.

Connor said National Transportation Safety Board investigators were already on their way.

RELATED

ATHENS - With a shortage of doctors, anesthesiologists, and other staff, surgeries have backed up so much in Greece that a plan for them to be done in the afternoons has been put in place.

Top Stories

Columnists

A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

Video

Fire Breaks Out at Apartment Building Near the Offices of TNH (Vid & Pics)

LONG ISLAND CITY, NY – A fire broke out in an apartment building about a block from the offices of The National Herald in Long Island City on February 21.

NEW YORK - Charles H. Dallara, the former Managing Director of the Institute of International Finance (IIF) and a central figure in the 2012 restructuring of Greece's debt, has penned what Nick Gage describes as a "riveting narrative" of those tumultuous times.

CULVER CITY, Calif — President Joe Biden said Wednesday that while a college degree was still a ticket to a better life, that ticket is often too expensive, as he announced he was canceling federal student loans for nearly 153,000 borrowers.

XINJIANG  - Chinese police are investigating an unauthorized and highly unusual online dump of documents from a private security contractor linked to the nation's top policing agency and other parts of its government — a trove that catalogs apparent hacking activity and tools to spy on both Chinese and foreigners.

WASHINGTON — Donald Trump's legendary ability to raise massive sums of political cash may be on a collision course with a new and unpleasant reality.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. [email protected]

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.