3 passengers dead after Amazon cargo plane crashes in Texas


24 February, 2019

A cargo jet crashed near Houston on Saturday. The depth of the water where the plane crashed is up to 5 feet.

The involved 27-year-old aircraft is registered as N1217A and was converted to a freighter in 2016.

Atlas Air said three people on the plane "and their family members are our top priority at this time". Before its conversion it had a long run as a passenger airliner, first with Canadian Airlines, which received the brand new aircraft in 1992.

The 767 was in a normal descent as it approached George Bush Intercontinental Airport, then went into a "very, very rapid descent" at 6,300 feet, National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Robert Sumwalt told reporters in Washington before his team left for Texas.

The last transmission sent to the aircraft warned of heavy rain near the airport.

Chambers County Sheriff Brian Hawthorne said that witnesses say they saw the twin-engine Boeing 767 cargo jetliner dive "nose first" into Trinity Bay near Anahuac, Texas, about 12:45 p.m.

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According to FlightAware, an aircraft tracking website, the plane was at an altitude of 4,200 feet and traveling at 281 miles per hour when contact was lost.

Initial reports said three people were onboard.

We are now working with the emergency services and other agencies to establish the circumstances around exactly what happened.

FAA investigators are on their way to the accident site and the National Transportation Safety Board has been notified.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the flight crew, their families and friends along with the entire team at Atlas Air during this bad tragedy", Dave Clark, senior vice president of worldwide operations at Amazon, said in a statement.

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