The fall of a Vieques Air Link plane near the Pan-American Pier, at about 1:32 p.m. on Tuesday, left two people dead and one injured, who was transported in critical condition to a hospital.
“The crew was a pilot and two mechanics. They were preparing to take off (from the Isla Grande airport). Apparently, when taking off, they had mechanical malfunctions. The pilot tries to enter the ship again towards the runway, but it was not possible,” explained the secretary of the Department of Public Security (DSP), Pedro Janer.
Dozens of troops began arriving on the scene in San Juan Bay, about 20 minutes after receiving the alert, when the plane collided with two boats at the scene before diving into three sailboats.
Citizens at the scene managed to rescue one of the crew. However, Janer indicated that both fatalities spent about 40 minutes submerged in the water before being located by divers.
The chief of operations of the Bureau for Emergency Management and Disaster Administration (Nmead), Nino Correa, explained that in the next few days the plane – submerged at about 30 to 40 feet deep – will be removed in coordination with the private company and various entities.
“The other detail is to get that fuselage out of there, it is a coordination with the Ports Authority … it is doing with the private company of the plane, for the purposes of hiring a company that comes and removes that fuselage here, because that represents a danger, “he said.
The two victims and the injured person have yet to be identified.