State-chartered plane from Haiti to land at Orlando Sanford International Airport

SANFORD, Fla. — A state-chartered plane from Haiti is expected to land at Orlando Sanford International Airport on Wednesday evening, evacuating individuals trapped in the country amid an ongoing humanitarian crisis.


Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Kevin Guthrie, the director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management, held a news conference at the airport Wednesday afternoon ahead of the plane’s arrival.

“It’s easier to get into this country illegally than it is to rescue U.S. citizens from a country that’s collapsed and they’re in danger. Aand that’s sad,” DeSantis said. “They’ve had to navigate a lot of bureaucratic hurdles. But finally we’re going to have a flight landing here today, and I’m excited about that.”

This comes after the Florida Division of Emergency Management launched a portal on March 14 to collect information from Floridians and other Americans trapped in Haiti.

“We will do everything possible to help Floridians and Americans who are in need of help in Haiti,” Guthrie said when the portal launched.

Read: Central Florida congressman helps rescue Americans from Haiti

A Seminole County Emergency Management spokesman said that about 300 people answered the form and close to 250 respondents were Floridians.

The agency has a crew based at the airport Wednesday, providing support to the state agency.

The plane had been expected to take off Tuesday, but unrest in the country delayed the flight.

Read: State launches online portal to help Floridians stuck in Haiti amid gang violence, political unrest

Channel 9 has a crew at the airport and will provide live updates on Eyewitness News.

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