Published: Sun, February 24, 2019
Global Media | By Garry Long

Atlas Air cargo jet crashes near Baytown, Texas, today

Atlas Air cargo jet crashes near Baytown, Texas, today

- A Boeing 767 cargo jetliner heading to Houston with three people aboard crashed Saturday into a bay just east of the city, according to officials. Amazon confirmed that the plane belonged to its air cargo division.

Witnesses said they heard the plane's engines surging and that the craft turned sharply before falling into a nosedive, Hawthorne said.

The FAA lost radar and radio contact with the flight approximately 30 miles southeast of Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport.

At about the moment it disappeared from communication with the FAA, the flight had descended to about 6,900 feet and was flying at 282 miles per hour, according to the site Flight Aware.

It had been coming from Miami, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

Amazon expressed their condolences in a statement shared with PEOPLE.

According to Atlas Air Inc.'s website the company transports 'precious perishables or heavy construction equipment to arranging passenger charters for celebrities or dignitaries'. During the past 24 hours, the plane also flew from Hawaii to California to Miami.

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The Coast Guard dispatched boats and at least one helicopter to assist in the search for survivors.

An FAA spokesman says the plane was a Cessna 172. "We appreciate the first responders who worked urgently to provide support", Dave Clark, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Operations at Amazon, said.

According to Boeing, the 767 freighter plane is 52 feet tall, 180 feet long and has a wingspan of 156 feet.

The plane was nearing a line of thunderstorms in an area of turbulence when it went down, said a person familiar with the still-preliminary data being collected.

On May 26, 1991, 223 aboard Lauda Air Flight 004 died when it crashed near Bangkok on May 26, 1991.

On October 31, 1999, all 217 people on board EgyptAir Flight 990, a 767-300ER, crashed off Nantucket Island, Mass., in global water. This was likely the captain, first officer, and a jump seater.

The jet had flown for Prime Air since April 2017, as per Flight Global. The cause was attributed to pilot error.

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