International desk, May 04: A passenger plane has slid off a runway in the US state of Florida, ending up in a river after landing during a thunderstorm.None of the 143 board the Boeing 737 were seriously hurt.
The chartered aircraft, operated by Miami Air International, had flown from Guantanamo Bay in Cuba to a military base in city of Jacksonville.
Passengers say it landed heavily during the storm, skidding into the nearby St John’s River.
At least 20 people were treated with minor injuries.
Passenger Cheryl Bormann told the CNN TV network of the “terrifying” moment the plane slid off the runway late on Friday.
“The plane literally hit the ground and bounced – it was clear the pilot did not have total control of the plane, it bounced again,” she said.
“We were in the water. We couldn’t tell where we were, whether it was a river or an ocean,” she said, adding that she could smell jet fuel leaking into the river.
The plane was arriving “from Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba into Naval Air Station Jacksonville ” and crashed into the river at the end of the runway, Naval Air Station Jacksonville
“Navy security and emergency response personnel are on the scene and monitoring the situation,” it said.
David Soucie, a former inspector for the Federal Aviation Administration, described it as a private jet charter. Curry had initially called it a commercial flight.
“The fact that they were all brought out of the aircraft safely and no one was hurt says a lot about how the crew reacted to this situation,” he said.
Curry said fire and rescue crews were on the scene. “While they work please pray,” he wrote.
President Donald Trump’s White House called to offer help as the situation was developing, the mayor said.
Source: News Agencies