There were no fatalities among the 143 people aboard a Miami Air Boeing 737 that went off the end of the runway at Naval Air Station Jacksonville Friday night. The plane was on a flight from Naval Station Guantanamo Bay in Cuba when it ended up in shallow water in the St. John’s River about 9:40 p.m. local time. Thunderstorms and heavy rain showers were reported in the area at the time. The runway at the base is 9,000 feet long and the aircraft stopped about 1,000 feet off the end. Passengers reported a hard landing and bounce followed by the plane rocking back and forth before exiting the runway. A total of 21 people were taken to Jacksonville hospitals but Tom Francis, a spokesman for Jacksonville Fire Rescue, said none of the injuries were critical and the patients were in “good condition” according to KJAX.
The aircraft was on a return flight from Guantanamo Bay and departed the Jacksonville base earlier Friday morning. The passengers were a mix of military personnel, families and civilians. Several pets in the cargo hold were killed. Miami Air is a Miami-based charter airline that operates six Boeing 737-800s. It has been in operation since 1990 and markets to government organizations, sports teams, entertainers and corporate clients. Updates as they become available. It has several military contracts and flies regularly to the base in Cuba.