CNN reports that a Boeing 737 plane, coming from Guantanamo Bay in Cuba with 143 people aboard, slid off the runway into St. Johns River in Florida.
No fatalities have been reported. All 136 people and seven crew members survived the Friday night landing into shallow water. Luckily, the plane did not go under the water.
21 people were taken to a hospital. Capt. Michael Connor, a commanding officer at the station, said that the safe landing was a miracle.
At a news conference on Saturday he said, “We could be talking about a different story this evening. So there’s a lot to say about the professionalism of the folks that helped the passengers off the airplane.”
The plane reportedly flew through a thunderstorm and lightening, from Naval Station Guantanamo Bay into Naval Air Station Jacksonville, skidded off the airport runway while trying to land, and ended up in the river.
Passenger Cheryl Bormann told CNN, “We couldn’t tell where we were, whether it was a river or an ocean. There was rain coming down. There was lightning and thunder. And we stood on that wing for a significant period of time. Rescue folks came and eventually someone inflated a life raft that had been on the plane and we began climbing into it.”