No survivors aboard plane that crashed into Ohio residential area
No one on board a small business plane that crashed into an apartment building in northeast Ohio survived, authorities said Tuesday.
The Hawker H25 was built to seat 10 passengers. Authorities couldn’t immediately confirm the total number of people on the plane, but did say there were at least two deaths. Sources told WJW in Cleveland that nine people, including the pilot and co-pilot, had died in the crash.
No one was inside the four-unit apartment building or another home that caught fire after the crash, said Lt. Sierjie Lash, an Akron fire department spokeswoman.
Plane owner Augusto Lewkowicz told The Associated Press that two pilots and seven passengers were on the flight. He said he had talked to investigators and was trying to contact the families of the vicitms.
The jet took off from Dayton and planned to land at Akron Fulton International Airport, about 2 miles from where it crashed. Ohio State Highway Patrol Lt. Bill Haymaker said it clipped utility wires on the way down and crashed into the building, which was destroyed by a subsequent fire. The plane then hit an embankment beyond the building, causing a nearby house to also burn.
The plane burst into flames and disintegrated after impact. There were no reports of any injuries on the ground, Haymaker said.
"I heard a big bang, and my couch shook twice," said Carrie Willis, who lives several blocks away.
Another witness, Roberta Porter, lives about a block away from the crash site. She was driving home when 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," Porter said, adding it was scary to think that if she had been driving faster, the plane might have clipped her car.
Investigators will begin attempts to determine the cause of the crash Wednesday. The Federal Aviation Administration, the National Transportation Safety Board and other state and local officials planned to hold a news conference around noon Wednesday at the crash site.