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19 dead in Sea Plane Crash near Downtown Miami


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MIAMI BEACH, Fla. -- Miami Beach police now say at least eight people were killed Monday afternoon when a seaplane crashed near Fisher Island.James Judd, of the Coast Guard, said the plane had just taken off from Watson Island and soon afterward crashed into the water.


Another Coast Guard official said there were 16 people aboard the two-engine sea plane -- two pilots and 14 passengers, including an infant.The Coast Guard said the plane was headed to the Bahamas when it crashed at about 2:30 p.m.


Miami Beach Fire Department support services chief Javier Otero said the plane was a Chalk's Ocean Airways plane and eight people have been confirmed dead. He said there were some survivors."We're still trying to get people out of the water," Otero said.


Footage from Chopper 6 showed a debris field in Government Cut, the channel that ships take into the Port of Miami past South Beach.


Law enforcement boats and helicopters were in the area doing searches. They were joined by others in private boats, on Jet Skis and on surfboards.NBC 6's Hank Tester reported that a witness said he saw the aircraft take off.


He said both engines were emitting smoke, and then the plane exploded before hitting the water.The Coast Guard said the cause of the crash was not immediately known, and it could not confirm whether there had been an explosion.


Because of the reports that there was an explosion, the FBI sent agents to assist in the investigation but there was no immediate indication of terrorism or criminal intent, said Judy Orihuela, spokeswoman for the FBI's Miami field office."It's too soon to say whether we are going to get involved," Orihuela said. "We're just going to check it out."


The airline declined comment after the crash.


Coast Guard now says 12 are dead



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The (I guess) spokesman for the company was on the news and he said that the airline has been running since 1919 and this is the first crash involving passengers. That's kind of crazy. Sad stuff.




Seems like an amazing track record, especially considering they fly seaplanes and land on very small landing strips.

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Found out yesterday morning that one of my old economics teachers in high school and a former coaching collegue of mine was on the plane along with his father and father-in-law...they were headed to bimini for a three-day fishing trip....it was a sad day when I found out and am still in a blah stage when it comes to this

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