Monday, December 19, 2005

Fatal Plane Crash off Miami Beach

Chalk Ocean Airway's suffered its first crash with fatalities. At least fourteen died when one of its seaplanes crashed off Miami Beach.

My Way News has the story here:
The Chalk's Ocean Airways plane went down around 2:30 p.m. in a narrow channel used by cruise ships, crashing on takeoff from Miami on a flight to the island of Bimini in the Bahamas, Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Laura Brown said.

Coast Guard spokesman Dana Warr said at least 14 bodies were recovered. Rescue crews saw no immediate signs of any survivors. Three infants were aboard the plane, authorities said.

Because of witness reports of an explosion before the propeller-driven twin-engine Turbine Mallard went down, the FBI sent agents to assist in the investigation, but there was no immediate indication of terrorism or sabotage, said Judy Orihuela, spokeswoman for the FBI's Miami field office.

"It's too soon to say whether we are going to get involved," Orihuela said. "We're just going to check it out."

Coast Guardsmen and emergency workers wearing protective suits hauled bodies up from rescue boats, rushing to find victims before darkness fell. Law enforcement speedboats, divers and helicopters took part in the search and were joined by others in private boats, on personal watercraft and on surfboards.

A witness, Frank Amadeo, told WSVN-TV that he saw a huge explosion in the sky and the plane fall behind a condominium tower on Biscayne Bay in Miami Beach.

The Coast Guard said the cause of the crash was not immediately known, and it could not confirm whether there had been an explosion. The National Transportation Safety Board sent a team to investigate.
Please pray for the victims and their surviving family.