A cargo plane with three people on board crashed into Trinity Bay near Anahuac, Texas, shortly before 12:45 p.m. on Saturday, the FAA says.
Three people were on board the Boeing 767 jet, which was traveling from Miami to Houston, the FAA said in an email. Chambers County Sheriff Brian C. Hawthorne said at a press conference that it appeared to be a “crash that nobody would be capable of surviving“ and that none of the plane was intact.
The Chambers County Sheriff’s Office said the aircraft was discovered in Jack’s Pocket at the northern end of the bay, which is east of Houston.
One body has been recovered from the crash site so far, the sheriff’s office announced on Facebook Saturday. The FBI, the NTSB and the sheriff’s office are continuing the search for victims.
Hawthorne said at an earlier press conference that he expected the search for human remains would be difficult, because the part of the bay where the plane landed is mud marsh. He said the plane’s debris was spread out over about three quarters of a mile, and a dive team has been brought in to look for human remains.
Jason Campbell, a boat mechanic, told local news channel KHOU 11 that he and two friends had taken a boat out into the water after seeing the plane flying low and hearing the crash. He said that the plane was basically “disintegrated.”
“The whole reason for us going out there was to see if we could save anybody,” Campbell told KHOU. “If we could help anybody. There wasn’t none of that. There’s not much of a plane left to tell that it was actually an airplane. There’s packages, clothes, shoes, this stuff floating everywhere.”
The plane was an Atlas Air 767, which was operating for Amazon Prime Air, according to flight tracker FlightRadar324.
Atlas Air confirmed that the plane was their aircraft Flight No. 3591, and that three people were on board during the crash.
“Those people and their family members are our top priority at this time. Atlas Air is cooperating fully with the FAA and NTSB. We will update as additional information becomes available,” the company wrote in a statement.
Amazon Senior Vice President David Clark also responded to the crash in a statement.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the flight crew, their families and friends along with the entire team at Atlas Air during this terrible tragedy. We appreciate the first responders who worked urgently to provide support,” Clark wrote.
The FAA said that it issued an alert notice for the flight after losing radar and radio contact with the plane when it was 30 miles southeast of Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport.
FAA investigators are traveling to the crash site and the National Aviation Security Board will investigate the crash, the FAA wrote.
Boeing responded to news of the crash in a statement.
“We are deeply saddened to learn of the Atlas Air 767 freighter that crashed near Anahuac, TX, earlier today. We are concerned about the safety of the 3 people reported to be on board. Boeing is prepared to provide technical assistance to the NTSB as it investigates the accident,” the company wrote.
At about the moment it disappeared from communication with the FAA, the flight had descended to about 6,900 feet and was flying at 282 mph, according to the site Flight Aware.