Three people are presumed dead today in the crash of 767-300F aircraft, operated by Atlas Air Worldwide on behalf of Amazon Air. The accident occurred at about 12:45 p.m. local time near the town of Anahuac, Texas, outside Houston, as the freighter was making a final approach to George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH), en route from Miami International Airport (MIA).
No explanation has yet been given for the crash, but the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said this afternoon that investigators from FAA were on their way to the site and have notified the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) of the incident. FAA also said that radar contact with aircraft, designated Flight 3591, was lost about 30 miles southeast of IAH at an altitude of about 1,325 feet over the northern end of Trinity Bay.
While there were no official reports of fatalities, the three crew-members on board are presumed to have not survived what appears to have been a violent crash in shallow water. Local TV news stations in Houston broadcast aerial video of the marshy area where the crash occurred, showing only small pieces of wreckage in the water and on land.
Atlas Air, which operated the aircraft under a CMI basis (crew, maintenance and insurance) for Amazon, released a statement confirming that “there were three people on board the aircraft. Those people and their family members are our top priority at this time. Atlas Air is cooperating fully with the FAA and NTSB.”
Amazon Air also released a brief statement, saying, “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.”
While it’s still too soon to determine a cause for the crash, Alan Reppert, a senior meteorologist for AccuWeather, said that, “there were a few showers with gusty winds in the vicinity of Houston at the time of the crash. While an investigation needs to take place, these [storms] were around the area and could have been a factor in the crash.”
Air Cargo World will continue to follow this story as more details become available.