Video Shows Man With Baby, Other Passengers Walking on Plane Wing After Crash Landing in Florida
A passenger shouted “Watch out! Watch out!” as other passengers and crew members cautiously walked out on a wing of the Boeing 737, just moments after it had landed at a Florida military base, crashed through a stone seawall, and ended up in a river.
Another passenger shouted, “Baby coming through!” and a man can be seen holding an infant in his arms as he walks along the other passengers in yellow life jackets getting drenched by rain.
The cell phone video from passenger Darwing Silva captured the immediate, uncertain moments after the chartered jet from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, landed at Naval Air Station Jacksonville and ended up in the St. Johns River on Friday night.
There were no serious injuries, although almost two dozen of the 143 passengers and crew members sought medical attention for minor injuries. A 3-month-old baby was hospitalized overnight for observation in an abundance of caution.
Silva shared the video with Jacksonville television station News4Jax.
Silva told the Tampa Bay Times that passengers initially were told Friday the aircraft might not be fit for takeoff. Then the flight was cleared to leave Cuba, but with the warning there would be no air conditioning.
Even though the plane was hot, there were no other problems during the flight from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Silva said.
The landing at Naval Air Station Jacksonville seemed normal at first, but then the plane didn’t stop on the runway. There was a loud bang, he hit his head on the ceiling, and the jet ended up in the water, Silva said.
He looked down and his ankles were in water, he said, and he heard someone yell, “Fuel!”
Silva said he helped usher people out an emergency door onto a wing.
The National Transportation Safety Board has assigned 16 investigators to determine what happened.
First-responders were at the plane within a couple minutes of its landing, said Capt. Michael Connor, the base’s commanding officer.
“Everyone was very cordial,” Connor said. “There wasn’t any commotion or panic. Everyone was very calm.”
On Sunday, Miami Air International, which operated the aircraft, notified passengers that their overhead luggage from the plane was available for pickup. The airline said passengers would be contacted directly once their checked bags were retrieved.
Also Sunday, a small, one-propeller airplane crashed into the St. Johns River in Jacksonville. The pilot, who was the only person on board and wasn’t injured, was rescued by a kayaker, according to the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department.