Boe­ing cargo jet crashes in bay with 3 aboard

The Charlotte Observer (Sunday) - - Classified - As­so­ci­ated Press

A Boe­ing 767 cargo jet­liner head­ing to Houston with three peo­ple aboard dis­in­te­grated after crash­ing Satur­day into a bay east of the city, ac­cord­ing to a Texas sher­iff.

Wit­nesses told emer­gency per­son­nel that the twinengine plane “went in nose first,” leav­ing a de­bris field three-quar­ters of a mile long in Trin­ity Bay, Cham­bers County Sher­iff Brian Hawthorne said.

“It’s prob­a­bly a crash that no­body would sur­vive,” he said, re­fer­ring to the scene as “to­tal dev­as­ta­tion.”

Wit­nesses said they heard the plane’s en­gines surg­ing and that the craft turned sharply be­fore fall­ing into a nose­dive, Hawthorne said.

Ae­rial footage shows emer­gency per­son­nel walk­ing along a spit of marsh­land flecked by de­bris that ex­tends into the wa­ter.

The sher­iff said re­cov­er­ing pieces of the plane, its black box con­tain­ing flight data records and any re­mains of the peo­ple on board will be dif­fi­cult in muddy marsh­land that ex­tends to about 5 feet deep in the area. Air boats are needed to ac­cess the area.

The plane had de­parted from Mi­ami and was likely only min­utes away from land­ing at Ge­orge Bush In­ter­con­ti­nen­tal Air­port in Houston. The Fed­eral Avi­a­tion Ad­min­is­tra­tion is­sued an alert after of­fi­cials lost radar and ra­dio con­tact with At­las Air Flight 3591 when it was about 30 miles south­east of the air­port, FAA spokesman Lynn Lunsford said.

The Coast Guard dis­patched boats and at least one heli­copter to as­sist in the search for sur­vivors. A dive team with the Texas Depart­ment of Pub­lic Safety will be tasked with find­ing the black box, Hawthorne said.

FAA in­ves­ti­ga­tors are trav­el­ing to the scene as are au­thor­i­ties with the Na­tional Trans­porta­tion Safety Board, which will lead the in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

AP

This im­age taken from video pro­vided by KRIV FOX 26 shows the scene of a cargo plane crash on Satur­day in Trin­ity Bay, just north of Galve­ston Bay and the Gulf of Mex­ico in Texas.

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