Pets still not found from plane that crashed landed in Jacksonville | News Coverage from USA

Pets still not found from plane that crashed landed in Jacksonville

All 143 people aboard a military-chartered plane survived after the aircraft skidded off a runway into a river in Jacksonville, Florida, on Friday night, but their pets might not have been as lucky.

An unspecified number of pets were checked in the luggage department located in the bottom of the plane that left Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Although the Boeing 737 plane was not completely submerged in the St. Johns River, photos appeared to show the bottom of the plane under water.

“Unfortunately, they have not been retrieved yet due to safety issues with the aircraft, the Naval Air Station Jacksonville, where the crash landing occurred, tweeted early Saturday morning. “Our hearts and prayers go out to those pet owners during this terrible incident.”

A spokeswoman for NAS Jacksonville did not immediately return a message from USA TODAY seeking information on what type of pets were aboard the plane and how many.

Cheryl Bormann, a prominent defense attorney who was aboard the plane, told CNN that she believes the pets likely didn’t make it.

The plane skidded off the runway at around 9:40 a.m. Bormann described a chaotic landing in which the pilot appeared to lose control of the aircraft before it smashed into the water and screeched to a halt. 

Authorities haven’t said what caused the plane to overshoot the runway. Naval Air Station Jacksonville is a military airport about eight miles south of downtown. 

The National Transportation Safety Board announced that it is investigating the crash landing. 

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