A commercial airplane with 143 people on board -136 passengers and 7 crew members- left the runway this Friday night and rushed to the Saint Johns River near the Jacksonville naval airport in Florida, when it was about to land, the Office said. of the county sheriff.
The device, a Boeing 737, from the naval station of Guantánamo Bay (Cuba =, was going to land when it left the runway and rushed into the waters of the river without submerging, as there was not much depth, the office added of the sheriff through the social network Twitter.
“All the people are alive and have been found,” the local sheriff’s office added, while Jacksonville Naval Air Station said in a statement that the incident, which is under investigation, resulted in minor injuries that were treated on the spot. .
A total of 21 passengers were taken to the local hospital to receive treatment for their minor wounds, police sources said.
“The security and emergency response personnel of the Armed Forces are on the scene and monitor the situation,” the Jacksonville military station added.
Authorities are trying to control the fuel that has leaked into the waters of the Saint Johns River in the wake of this incident, which occurred around 9.40 pm local time (1.40 GMT Saturday) and involved the participation of about 50 firefighters .
According to local media, the plane is owned by Miami Air International, which operates charter flights from Guantanamo to naval air stations in Jacksonville and Norfolk, Virginia, and flights usually carry army members, relatives and important personalities.
“We could be talking about a different story tonight, so there’s a lot to be said about the professionalism of the people who helped the passengers get off the plane,” Capt. Michael Connor, a military base officer, told a news conference. and who said that landing without loss of life has been a “miracle”.
Attorney Cheryl Bormann, one of the passengers on the flight, told CNN that the plane flew through thunderstorms and lightning, and that the landing was “very hard.”
“The plane bounced, squeaked and bounced a little more, then stopped completely at once,” he added.
Bormann pointed out that at first, in the midst of the darkness and the storm, they only knew that they were in the water, but not if they were on a river or the sea, and that after “a significant period of time” the firemen appeared. and emergency personnel with inflatable boats.
Meteorologists had reported a few days ago of a slight “tropical disturbance” that was spewing heavy storms in Florida.