Deceased pets recovered from plane in Florida river
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Deceased pets have been recovered from a chartered jet that ran into a river at a Florida military base.
Naval Air Station Jacksonville said in a statement late Sunday that a dog and two cats were recovered in their carriers from the Boeing 737 that skidded into the St. Johns River after landing at Naval Air Station Jacksonville.
None of the 143 human passengers and crew members had serious injuries from the landing Friday night.
Despite trying twice, rescuers were unable to remove the pets from the cargo area immediately after the landing because that section of the plane was underwater. Divers were sent in Sunday to retrieve the animals.
Base officials said another cat that flew in the plane’s cabin was safely removed by the cat’s owner.
Meanwhile, the operator of the plane on Monday offered $2,500 to each passenger as a “goodwill gesture.”
Miami Air International made the offer to the 136 passengers in an open letter from the airline’s CEO expressing regret for what happened. The Boeing 737 was traveling from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba when it landed at the Florida base, skidding into the river.
Passengers lined up on the planes wings while they waited for rescuers, who arrived within a few minutes.
“We understand and appreciate the difficult experience you endured,” wrote CEO Kurt Kamrad.