In Jacksonville, Florida, after a Boeing 737 plane skidded off the runway on Friday night into a river in Jacksonville, all 143 people aboard survived. Tragically, the pets checked into the luggage compartments in the bottom of the plane were not as fortunate.
According to NbcNews, at least four pets had been on the military-chartered plane that left Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to northern Florida. As of Saturday afternoon, the pets remained on the aircraft and are presumed to be dead. Even though the plane did not completely submerge in the St. Johns River, the bottom section is underwater.
“There’s water in the cargo hold. We are so sad about this situation, that there are animals that unfortunately passed away,” stated U.S. Navy spokesperson, Kaylee LaRocque.
The plane remains just as it crashed into the river pending a thorough investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board.
Captain Michael Connor, the commanding officer for the Naval Air Station in Jacksonville said the animals had become the “second priority” for responders, but no one heard any animal noises or spotted any crates – thus assuming the pets had all died.
“Obviously, we do not have confirmation but are are continuing to do what we can to positively determine the status of the pets. It’s a very obviously rough situation. My sympathy and my heart really goes out to those families,” Connor stated.
The pets included both dogs and cats, and it is possible more pets could have been aboard.
There has not been any explanation what caused the plane to slide off the runway into the river. Once the plane is removed, authorities will find the deceased pets. May they all rest in peace.
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