Houston, Texas: Authorities say they have recovered a body as they continue to hunt for clues Sunday into an Amazon Prime Air cargo plane crash outside Houston.
The Boeing 767 operated by Atlas Air was a scheduled cargo flight for Amazon from Miami to Houston when it disappeared from radar Saturday and apparently nosedived into a swampy area about 30 miles from George Bush Intercontinental Airport.
Three people were aboard the plane, and Chambers County Sheriff Brian Hawthorne said it was unlikely anyone survived the approximately 12:45 p.m. crash. Hawthorne late Saturday asked for anyone with video or pictures of the crash to submit them to investigators.
Witnesses said they heard the plane’s engines surging and watched the craft turn sharply before falling into a nosedive, Hawthorne said.
“It’s probably a crash that nobody would survive,” Hawthorne said.
The identities of the three people aboard have not yet been released, and federal investigators are helping local authorities search the wreckage for the plane’s boxes, which could help explain the crash. Investigators say the crash left debris strewn across a wide area of Trinity Bay.
AccuWeather meteorologists suggested weather could be to blame: “There were a few showers with gusty winds in the vicinity of Houston at the time of the crash. While an investigation needs to take place, these were around the area and could have been a factor in the crash,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alan Reppert said.
Investigators say they’re using a mix of boats and airboats to search the swampy, marshy area. People who worked nearby were among the first to reach the wreckage, KHOU-TV reported.
“The whole reason for us going out there was to see if we could save anybody,” boat mechanic Jason Campbell told the TV station. “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.”
Amazon and Atlas officials said they’re cooperating with the investigation.
“Everyone within the company is deeply saddened by this event,” Atlas Air said in a statement. “Our main priority at this time is caring for those affected and we will ensure we do all we can to support them now and in the days and weeks to come.”
Image: This image taken from video provided by KRIV shows the scene of a cargo plane crash on Feb. 23, 2019, in Trinity Bay, just north of Galveston Bay and the Gulf of Mexico in Texas.