Cats and dogs presumed dead in cargo hold of charter flight that slid off runway

737 Boeing overan runway into water
In a photo released by law enforcement, a Boeing 737 charter jet sits in the St. Johns River after sliding off a runway at a naval air station in Jacksonville, Fla., May 3, 2019.
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There’s a recent report online about a Boeing 737 inbound from Cuba landing at Naval Air Station Jacksonville and skidding off the end of the runway into the St. Johns River. This left the bottom quarter to one third of the plane underwater. There were 136 passengers and seven crew on board who all survived the accident without serious injury. Twenty-one were taken to a local hospital and only one, a young child was detained at a precaution.

In what appears to have been an afterthought, the 16 person rescue team investigated the hold of the aircraft. It appears that several crated dogs and cats were in the cargo hold of the charter flight. This information must have been available in the manifest.

However, the rescue team failed to find the crates because the hold was underwater. Capt. Michael Connor, the commanding officer of Naval Air Station Jacksonville said that no pet carriers were found in the cargo hold or discovered above water.

That doesn’t mean they aren’t there it just means that they can’t find them (found later under water). Further, there was and is no sign of barking or meowing or any other animal noise from the hold of this aircraft.

Therefore it is presumed that the cats and dogs are dead.

UPDATE: It was reported later that deceased pets – a dog and two cats – have been recovered from the plane in Florida river. Divers were sent in Sunday to retrieve the animals (Fox News).

Comment: as mentioned above I have the impression, and I could be wrong, that the primary focus was on getting the people out of the plane and then slightly later on the rescue team dealt with the companion animals in the cargo area of the aircraft which was partially submerged. By then the animals were dead. This is my reading of the story but further information may come to light later on. One pet, a cat, was rescued from the aircraft’s cabin.


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