Search continues for body at Texas plane crash site

Associated Press
Chambers County Sheriff Brian Hawthorne gives an update on a plane crash in Trinity Bay during a news conference in Anahuac, Texas, Feb. 23, 2019. A Boeing 767 cargo jetliner heading to Houston with a few people aboard disintegrated after crashing Saturday into the bay east of the city, according to a Texas sheriff.

Anahuac, Texas – Authorities scoured the shallow waters of a southeast Texas bay Monday for clues about what led to the sudden crash of a Boeing 767 cargo plane carrying Amazon packages, and for the body of one of the three people aboard.

A north wind has aided searchers by exposing more of the three-quarter-mile debris field left Saturday when Houston-bound Flight 3591, which Atlas was operating for Amazon, disintegrated on impact with Trinity Bay, about 35 miles (55 kilometers) east of the city, an area sheriff said Sunday night.

White chunks of fuselage could still be seen Monday sticking out of the bay’s long grass as airboats skimmed the low water around the crash site.

None of the three people on the jumbo jet survived the crash, according to authorities and the plane’s owner, Atlas Air. On Sunday, emergency workers recovered two bodies from the costal bay , which were sent to a medical examiner’s office for autopsies.

Sheriff’s deputies and investigators from the FBI and National Transportation Safety Board are searching for the remaining body and the plane’s black box, which records flight data and voices in the cockpit.

The only person aboard the flight from Miami to be officially identified was a pilot for another airline who had been riding in a passenger seat on the cargo plane.

Mesa Airlines Capt. Sean Archuleta had been getting a lift back to his home in the Houston area, his friend told the Houston Chronicle . The 36-year-old was a new father and weeks away from starting his “dream” job flying for United Airlines, Don Dalton, Archuleta’s roommate, told the paper.

Archuleta’s wife lives in Colombia and was “devastated” by the news of his death, Dalton said.

Atlas Air said in a Sunday statement that it has established a program to support the families of the dead and that it has a team, including CEO Bill Flynn, at the crash site to assist investigators.

Associated Press writer Bleiberg reported from Dallas.