AKRON, Ohio (AP) – A small business jet crashed into an apartment building on Tuesday, killing at least two people aboard, authorities said.
A mass-fatality team planned to begin working at daylight Wednesday to sift through the wreckage and recover bodies of the victims. Authorities in Akron say they will have an update 10:00 a.m. tomorrow as this will give them time to assess the situation once the sun comes up.
2 NEWS has learned the plane took off from Lunken Airport in Cincinnati and landed at Dayton-Wright Brothers Airport to refuel. That plane took off from Wright-Brothers Airport at 2:13 p.m.
Investigators were trying to determine how many people were on the 10-seater Hawker business jet, but they confirmed two deaths, said Lt. Sierjie Lash, an Akron fire department spokeswoman.
No one was inside the small brick apartment building or a neighboring home that caught fire, she said.
The jet clipped a utility wire on the way down and burst into flames and disintegrated after impact, Ohio State Highway Patrol Lt. Bill Haymaker said.
The plane then hit an embankment beyond the apartment building, causing a nearby house to also burn, he said. There were no known injuries on the ground, he said.
Witnesses reported hearing explosions when the plane hit.
“I heard a big bang, and my couch shook twice,” said Carrie Willis, who lives several blocks away.
The front of the apartment building was destroyed.
A woman who lives about a block away and was driving home with her grandson at the time said she saw the plane crash into the building and burst into flames.
“This plane just dropped out of the sky, veered and crashed into the apartment building,” Roberta Porter said.
She said it’s scary to think that if she’d been driving faster the plane may have clipped her car.
Another witness, Jesse Moon, told WEWS-TV that he was six blocks away when the plane went down and he ran over to the area.
“Everything was gone,” he said. “It looked like a bomb exploded.”
We have learned it was a charter plane run by a company called Execuflight. According to their website, they specialize in professional and first-class services.
The company’s site says it has 50 plus years of jet management and services.
According to ExecuFlight, they have a flawless safety record.
Their website says they have 6 different aircraft ranging from 8 passenger to 12 passenger planes.
We found the plane is not owned by that company.
According to FAA records, the aircraft is registered to Hawker LLC out of Charlotte, North Carolina.
We checked and the plane’s certificate is valid with the FAA.