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Nine Feared Dead After Private Jet Hits Residential Buildings in Ohio

A private plane that was reportedly carrying nine people crashed into two residential buildings while approaching an airport in Akron, Ohio.

by Reuters and VICE News
Nov 11 2015, 12:35am

Photo by Phil Long/AP

Nine people were reportedly killed after a private plane crashed into two residential buildings while approaching an Akron, Ohio, airport on Tuesday afternoon, local media and authorities said.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol confirmed the deaths of the pilot and co-pilot to Reuters, and police were investigating if there were more fatalities, according to spokesman Lieutenant Bill Haymaker.

The Akron Beacon Journal quoted the plane's owner as saying there were a total of nine people on board the 10-passenger plane. State police have reportedly confirmed that there were no survivors from the crash.

The plane struck a residential building at about 3pm local time, engulfing it in flames, said Haymaker. Then the plane hit an embankment and another residential building, Haymaker added. A utility wire was also hit.

No one was at home in either building at the time of the crash, and there were no other injuries reported on the ground, Haymaker said.

The accident involved a Hawker H25 business jet, and the National Transportation Safety Board will be in charge of the investigation, according to FAA Spokesman Tony Molinaro.

The jet had been approaching the Akron Fulton Airport, Molinaro said.

Akron-based utility FirstEnergy Corp said the crash caused a power outage for 1,500 customers around the airport.

"It appears that the plane clipped a couple of lines," said Mark Durbin, a FirstEnergy spokesman.

According to the Akron Beacon Journal, the Florida-based company Execuflight chartered the flight. The paper spoke with Augusto Lewkowicz, the jet's owner and operator, who said he would not release the names of the crew or passengers until their family members had been notified.

Lewkowicz reportedly said the jet was on the on the second leg of a charter that began Monday, and that everything appeared to be fine prior to the crash. "It was a perfectly well-maintained aircraft with no squawks," he said.

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