The Borneo Post

Plane skids into river after crash-landing during lightning storm


MIAMI: A Boeing 737 skidded off a runway into a river after crash-landing during a lightning storm in Florida, officials said, with terrified passengers all safely evacuated to shore from the stricken jet’s wings.

The plane carrying 143 people including crew from Guantanamo Bay in Cuba slammed into shallow water next to a naval air station in Jacksonvil­le after a hard landing that saw the plane bounce and swerve down the runway, passengers said.

No fatalities or critical injuries were reported.

“As we went down the plane bounced and screeched and bounced more and lifted to the right and then it lifted to the left,” Cheryl Bormann, a defense attorney who was on board the flight, told CNN.

“And then it sort of swerved and then it came to a complete crash stop.”

Some oxygen masks deployed and overhead lockers flew open during the landing, she added.

Twenty-one adults were taken to local hospitals, but none were critically injured, Jacksonvil­le sheriff’s office said on Twitter.

Others were treated for minor injuries at the scene.

Naval Air Station Jacksonvil­le said in a statement all 136 passengers and seven aircrew on board had been accounted for.

The National Transporta­tion Safety Board said a team was being sent to investigat­e the incident.

Navy security and emergency response personnel including some 90 firefighte­rs attended the scene.

Passengers in life vests were instructed to clamber onto the wings of the jet before being transporte­d to shore aboard inflatable life rafts, Bormann said.

“We couldn’t tell where we were, a river or an ocean. There was rain coming down.

There was lightning and thunder. We stood on that wing for a significan­t period of time,” she told CNN.

Images showed the Miami Air plane lying partially submerged in water after the crash-landing, with its nose cone missing. — AFP

 ??  ?? Photo shows a plane in the river after it went off the runway. — AFP photo
Photo shows a plane in the river after it went off the runway. — AFP photo

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