Officials say they have recovered "human remains" from where a cargo plane carrying at least 3 people crashed into a Texas bay on Saturday.
Chambers County Sheriff Brian Hawthorne said that witnesses say they saw the twin-engine Boeing 767 cargo jetliner dive "nose first" into Trinity Bay near Anahuac, Texas, about 12:45 p.m.
The plane's engine was reportedly surging and the aircraft made a sharp turn before nose-diving, Hawthorne added.
"We have, regretfully, found some remains," Hawthorne told reporters at the final press conference of the day. He said recovery efforts would resume in the morning.
While he would not confirm any fatalities, he did suggest the prospects for any survivors were dim.
"What I will tell you is I do not believe that there's any way that anybody could have survived."
Flight 3591, operated by Atlas Air Inc., lost radar and radio contact when it was about 30 miles southeast of Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport, prompting the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to issue an alert notice.
"I would venture to say that it's probably going to be mechanical," Hawthorne said of a possible cause.
The sheriff said recovering pieces of the plane, its black box containing flight data records and any remains of the people on board will be difficult in muddy marshland. Airboats are needed to access the area.
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The Coast Guard dispatched boats and at least one helicopter to assist in search-and-rescue efforts. The Texas Department of Public Safety is expected to send in a dive team to recover the plane's black box, which can provide vital clues about what brought the plane down.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is heading the investigation.