By Our Reporter
A chartered Boeing plane 737-800 arriving from Naval Station Guantanamo Bay in Cuba carrying 136 passengers and seven crew members, crashed into the St. Johns River at the end of the run away at Naval Air Station Jacksonville at about 9:40 pm on Friday.
According to Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said on Twitter that all 21 of the injured were taken to a hospital, where they were listed in good condition and there were no reports of fatalities or critical injuries.
A passenger on board the plane, attorney Cheryl Bormann, told CNN in an interview that the flight, which had been four hours late in departing, made a “really hard landing” in Jacksonville amid thunder and lightning.
“We came down; 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, adding that the experience was “terrifying.”
Miami Air International is a charter airline operating a fleet of the Boeing 737-800, different from the 737 MAX 8 aircraft that has been grounded following two fatal crashes involving that plane.
Representatives for the airline could not immediately be reached for comment by Reuters on Friday evening.
Bill Dougherty, a spokesman for the Jacksonville base said that the charter company is contracted by the military for its twice-weekly “rotator” roundtrip service between the US mainland and Guantanamo Bay, It flies every Tuesday and Friday from the Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia to the Jacksonville air station and on to Cuba. It then flies back to Virginia with a stop again at Jacksonville.
The rotator service typically flies military personnel, family members, contractors and other civilians traveling from the United States to Guantanamo Bay.
A Boeing spokesman said that the company was aware of the incident and is gathering information.
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