Nine killed as business jet hits buildings in Ohio: reports

Nine killed as business jet hits buildings in Ohio: reports

Reuters

Nine people were killed on Tuesday when a small business jet crashed into two residential buildings while approaching an Akron airport, local media reported, citing police sources.

Ohio State Highway Patrol officially confirmed that the pilot and co-pilot as well as an unknown number of passengers were killed in the fiery crash.

However, unnamed police sources at the site of the crash told local media that a total of nine people were dead.

Ohio State Highway patrol spokesman Lieutenant Bill Haymaker said the 10-passenger plane was “intact but burnt.” Summit County medical examiner Lisa Kohler told reporters she was implementing a “mass casualty plan” for the morning, when it is light.

The plane struck a residential building at about 3 p.m. (2000 GMT), engulfing it in flames, said Haymaker. The plane then hit an embankment and another residential building, Haymaker added. A utility wire was also hit.

No names were provided.

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.

The owner of the plane, Augusto Lewkowicz of ExecuFlight, did not immediately respond to calls for comment. The website for the business is down.

(Reporting by Kim Palmer in Cleveland and Mary Wisniewski in Chicago; Editing by G Crosse and Sandra Maler)

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