'These engines were in distress': Witnesses' reactions to deadly cargo jet crash

CHAMBERS COUNTY, Texas – Residents recall hearing explosion sounds before a cargo plane nose-dived into Trinity Bay on Saturday afternoon.

Danny Alms lives about half a mile from the scene of the crash.

As he opened his window earlier Saturday, he heard what he says was the moment the plane started to go down.

"You could tell that it was a jet engine, but these engines were in distress, they were just, like, screaming. A sound that I've never heard and you could tell they were close, and then it kind of eventually faded a little bit. Instinctively, I thought, 'Well, this is an airplane. I mean, it's in trouble, you can tell," Alms said. 

Danny Alms lives less than one-half mile from the scene of the crash.

A few blocks down, Mara Chavarria was home with her family when she associated the noise with the weather. 

"I really, honestly, thought it was the storm coming through, you know, we were all expecting that. That's all we were thinking and we're so close to the hospital so I was just thinking maybe Life Flight is coming through," Chavarria said.

 Alms said he's used to hearing big engines over his home on their way to Ellington Field or Houston airports. So he knew what he heard must be a plane. He said the crash shook his house but because of weather that was coming through at the time, his neighbors assumed the explosion was thunder.

"It actually sounded like it was blowing apart," Alms said.