Jacksonville Passengers Recount Harrowing Plane Landing That Felt ‘Like an Explosion’ – The New York Times

Pets traveling in the plane’s cargo hold were presumed dead, said Kaylee LaRocque, a spokeswoman for the naval air station. Navy personnel had not been able to reach the cargo hold, which took on water, Ms. LaRocque said.

“We can’t get them out because the aircraft is not safe right now,” she said. Four pets were listed on the flight manifest, though more could have been taken aboard at the last minute, Ms. LaRocque said.

A team of 16 investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board arrived in Jacksonville on Saturday to begin to figure out what went wrong, said Bruce Landsberg, the board’s vice chairman. By Saturday afternoon, investigators had recovered the flight data recorder, which was undamaged.

The mishap stranded about 125 passengers at Guantánamo on Saturday morning. They were awaiting the return of the Miami Air plane for a flight to Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland.

The stranded group included a military judge who announced this week that he would no longer preside over the case against Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and four other men accused of plotting the Sept. 11 attacks. Also among them were two brigadier generals, prosecutors, defense lawyers and journalists who had arrived a week earlier for a pretrial hearing in the case.

Mr. Silva said he had driven straight from the naval station to his home in Miami, arriving at about 5:30 a.m.

“I feel my neck sore. My right eye is sore,” he said. “I am going to get checked out just to make sure everything is O.K., but at that moment, I didn’t feel much. The adrenaline, I guess.”

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