Boeing 737 slides off runway into Florida River
A Boeing jetliner with 143 people aboard from the U.S. outpost at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, slid off a runway into a shallow river in Jacksonville, Florida, on May 3 while attempting to land at a military base there during a thunderstorm, injuring 21 people.
There were no reports of fatalities or critical injuries. The 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.
The plane, a chartered Boeing 737-800 arriving from Naval Station Guantanamo Bay in Cuba with 136 passengers and seven crew members, crashed into the St. Johns river at the end of the runway at Naval Air Station Jacksonville at about 9:40 p.m. local time, a spokesman for the Florida air base said.
"The plane was not submerged. Every person is alive and accounted for," the sheriff's office said on Twitter.
The mayor of Jacksonville, Lenny Curry, said on Twitter that U.S. President Donald Trump had called him to offer help.
"No fatalities reported. We are all in this together," Curry said in a separate tweet.
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."
Bormann said she hit her head on a plastic tray on the seat in front of her as the plane veered sideways and off the runway. "We were in the water, we couldn't tell where we were, whether it was a river or an ocean."