Tragedy on Jamaican soil was averted this afternoon, as after several tense moments, a private United States-based aircraft crashed into the sea, just short of the north eastern coast of the island.
Jamaica Defence Force, JDF personnel are at this hour combing the coastline of Port Antonio, Portland, in search of the plane’s wreckage.
Speaking to our news center in the last half hour, National Security Minister, Peter Bunting, reported that both the Jamaica Defence Force and US coast guard are busy searching for the wreckage.
Minister Bunting says the plane carrying two passengers went down about 14 miles or 22 kilometres off the coast of Port Antonio.
Reports emerging out of the United States have identified the two passengers on board as Larry and Jane Glazer.
They reportedly took off from Rochester in New York City about 8:26 this morning and were en route to Naples, Florida.
Shortly after take off, US aviation received no response from the Socata TBM-700 plane.
An Amercan air defence spokesman says it’s suspected the pilots became unconscious due to “possible hypoxia”, a condition caused by limited oxygen supply.
Communications Officer for the JDF, Major Basil Jarrett, says the plane was headed for Jamaican soil before it came down. He could not confirm if there were any fatalities.
Earlier this afternoon, there were reports that the plane was headed to Cuba and the US had sent two fighter jets to investigate why the plane did not respond to air traffic control from 10:00 this morning.
There were more tense moments as the major news networks across the world began reporting that the unresponsive plane was headed straight for Jamaica.
The aircraft is suspected to have run out of fuel.
As fate would have it, the plane came down at sea just a few miles or seconds from the parish of Portland.
Relief for some in the eastern end of Jamaica including West Portland, MP Daryl Vaz, who spoke to our news centers moments after the crash.