Of the 22 people who sought medical attention after a Boeing 737-800 plane skidded into the St. Johns River, a baby was among those hospitalized, according to a representative with NAS Jax.
NAS Jax Commanding Officer Captain Michael Connor said during a news conference on Saturday that the 3-month-old baby is to be released.
Connor also said first responders are still unable to confirm the status of pets aboard the Miami Air International plane.
"I had learned that there were pets aboard the aircraft and my heart immediately sank because I'm a pet owner myself and cannot imagine what the pet owners were going through," Connor said.
Connor said first responders checked the cargo bay of the plane at least twice so far in the investigation.
The first time first responders checked the cargo bay, they were unable to hear or see anything that could indicate the safety of the animals on board. Fearing the plane would and endanger their safety, the first responders retreated.
As the investigation continued and progress was made, Connor sent first responders to check the cargo bay again. The second time around, first responders were able to see into the cargo bay and saw there were no pet carriers above the water line, Connor said.
The commanding officer said the plane had no prior incident but First Coast News was able to confirm via a report from the National Transportation Safety Board that the plane had left a runway once before in 2012 in North Carolina.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is investigating the incident and is looking into the weather conditions during the time of the landing as well as the conditions of the airport. Heavy rain was reported at the time of the incident.
NTSB Vice Chairman Bruce Landsford mentioned in the same news conference that the runway is not grooved. A grooved runway would allow water from heavy rainfall to run off toward the edge, hindering skidding.
NTSB is still working to determine if not having a grooved runway may have contributed to the plane skidding into the river.
Connor said the runway had undergone a complete renovation back in 2016 in which the cross slope of the runway was improved, allowing water to run off toward the edge. The slope meets the requirement for aircraft runways, Connor said.
Grooves are not required and therefore was not included in the renovation, according to Connor.
Captain Daniel C. Wells, president of the Airline Professionals Association, released the following statement about the Miami Air International incident:
“Our union family thanks the first responders and Jacksonville community for springing into action to quickly and safely rescue the passengers and crew members of Miami Air International Flight 293. We are deeply grateful that everyone is accounted for and offer our full union support and resources to the passengers, crew members and their families.”
“Union officials are on the ground in Jacksonville to assist the National Transportation Safety Board in every way possible in their investigation.”
The aircraft was carrying 142 people when it skidded off the runway around 9:40 p.m.