MIAMI BEACH, Fla. A Chalks Ocean Airways (Flight 101) seaplane has crashed near South Beach area of Miami. Twenty people were on board, including two pilots and 18 passengers, three of which are reported to be small children. The plane took off en route to the Bahamas, traveled down the “Government Cut” waterway and crashed in shallow water off the coast of Miami shortly after takeoff from Watson Island. Witnesses report the possibility of engine failure followed by a wing seperating from the aircraft. Weather was clear at the time of the crash.
Units from the U.S. Coast Guard, Miami Beach Fire Department, Metro-Dade Fire Rescue, and Miami Beach Ocean Rescue responded immediately. So far, 14 bodies have been recovered. The Miami Beach Fire Department and Metro-Dade Fire Rescue have established a secure and coordinated command and control zone at the Miami Coast Guard station. Personnel in biohazard suits are involved in the processing of bodies and decontamination of rescuers involved in the body recovery.
Miami Beach Fire Chief Floyd Jordon reports his Ocean Resue crews witnessed the plane in trouble. Official dispatch was at 14:40 and MBFD Fire and EMS units were on the scene within two minutes. There are no survivors, officials report.