A small plane that was carrying at least nine people crashed into an apartment building located at 3042 Mogadore Road in Akron, Ohio, at about 3 p.m. today, according to WKYC. All nine people are reported to have died.
WKYC says that the plane was designed for 10 passengers, and that while they are unable to confirm the number of victims, the Ohio State Highway Patrol has stated that all aboard the plane were killed. RT reports that the plane could carry up to 13 passengers and may have been manufactured between 1983 and 2013.
The multi-family dwelling, which was completely destroyed, was reportedly empty when the crash occurred. A second home was also damaged. No one on the ground was injured. The Akron crash site is said to be being treated as a “crime scene.”
The police speculated that the plane likely hit power lines when it hit the building. The house was engulfed in flames. Further, debris from the wreckage was said to scatter, causing a neighboring garage to catch fire as well.
The flight was said to be headed from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to the Akron Fulton International Airport, via a stop in Dayton. The plane itself is reported to be a “Hawker H25 business jet.” None of the victims have been identified.
About 1,500 customers of Ohio Edison and FirstEnergy were said to have had their power cut due to the plane taking down transmission lines.
An investigation will be conducted, with the The National Transportation Safety Board to lead. Officials from the Federal Aviation Administration are reported to be en route to the Akron crash scene, according to Fox 8.
Although footage of the actual crash does not appear to be available, witnesses stated that the plane “clipped” another apartment building before going down into the building at 3042 Mogadore Road. Workers with a neighborhood construction company reported hearing a low-flying plane and then what they described as a sound like a “car hitting a telephone pole.”
The employees with the construction company rushed toward the wreckage, attempting to offer assistance. Fire trucks and ambulances were said to have have arrived “within moments.”
The debris field for the crash is said to be fairly small, and the cabin to be intact, though thoroughly burned. Investigators have reported that recovery efforts have been put-off until daylight tomorrow.
The owner of the plane was confirmed to be Augusto Lewkowicz, who told the Akron Beacon Journal that there were nine people on board, including seven passengers and two crew members, and that all were killed.
Lewkowicz stated that he would not release the names of the people on the plane until he had a chance to notify their family members.
“I owe responses to the family members first,” Lewkowicz was quoted.
The owner of the plane also stated that it was in the “second leg” of a charter that had begun on Monday. There was no indication that anything was wrong with the jet, and Lewowicz stated that he had been in communication with the pilots and noted that they had not informed him of anything unusual with the plane.
“It was a perfectly well-maintained aircraft with no squawks,” the owner of the jet was quoted.
It has been revealed that the plane in the Akron crash was charted by a company from Florida, called ExecuFlight.
“It is a recovery process,” Staff Lieutenant Bill Haymaker of the Ohio State Highway Patrol was quoted during a press conference. “We know the plane could have held up to 10 people. We know there’s family out there that want to know if their loved ones were in the crash.”
[Feature Screenshot via NetCast News/YouTube]