A twin-engine cargo jet that reportedly was carrying three people crashed on Saturday afternoon in Texas, about 30 miles southeast of Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport, the Federal Aviation Administration confirmed to The Daily Beast.
The status of the three people on board was not immediately available on Saturday, officials said in a press release. Chambers County Sheriff Brian Hawthorne told local reporters that little but debris remains of the actual aircraft, which he described as in “total devastation.” He said crews were hours into their search and found no survivors or remains.
“Visibility is not bad,” he added. “The water goes from 5 feet deep to 0 feet.”
Local authorities and FAA investigators were all present at the crash scene in Chambers County on Saturday afternoon. The 26-year-old plane was part of an Amazon Prime Air livery, the company confirmed on Saturday evening.
The Boeing 767, which was operated by Atlas Air Inc. and flying from Miami to Houston, crashed about 12:45 p.m. in the water.
“The first thing I saw was floating debris,” said Hawthorne. “Everything from bed sheets, to women’s clothing.”
The FAA lost radar and radio contact with the flight just before it crashed. The plane, Atlas Air Flight 3591, was located in the water at the north end of Trinity Bay near Galveston, the Chambers County Sheriff's Office said in a statement.
The three people on board the craft and their family members, said Atlas Air, “are our top priority at this time” and that the company is “cooperating fully” with the authorities.
Dave Clark, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Operations at Amazon, also released a statement on Saturday evening: “Our thoughts and prayers are with the flight crew, their families and friends along with the entire team at Atlas Air during this terrible tragedy. We appreciate the first responders who worked urgently to provide support.”
Helicopters scoured over the area in a search for survivors on Saturday, according to video footage of the scene that showed little but scattered debris. The Coast Guard dispatched boats in conjunction with the National Transportation Safety Board, Texas state troopers, and other local law enforcement agencies.
The NTSB is heading the investigation into the crash, the FAA confirmed.