Surveillance video shows the moment a business jet carrying nine people crashed in Akron, Ohio, exploding as it crashed into an apartment complex miles away from the airport.
Nine people aboard the jet were killed Tuesday, local officials told the Associated Press. There were no injuries on the ground.
The video, obtained by WEWS News, shows the small jet cutting through the top of several trees before erupting in fire and sending a plume of smoke to the air.
All seven passengers on the aircraft were employees of Pebb Enterprises, the Florida-based real estate company confirmed on its website. "Our hearts are broken this morning with the news of the tragic accident that took the lives of two principals and five employees of Pebb Enterprises," the company said.
Officials with the Ohio State Highway Patrol told BuzzFeed News the pilot and co-pilot were among the dead.
The Hawker 125-700 collided with utility wires and crashed into an apartment building Tuesday afternoon.
The plane, which had departed Fort Lauderdale on Monday and was headed to Akron from Dayton on Tuesday, was flying at a low altitude and banking to the left before crashing, National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) officials said at a press conference Wednesday.
The left wing of the plane hit the ground first, leaving a “witness mark.” It then hit half of the apartment building, destroying it, and finally running up an embankment behind the building, NTSB Vice-Chairman Bella Dinh-Zarr said.
She said that the NTSB reviewed a security camera video that showed the plane seconds before it crashed. A lab in Washington will review the plane's cockpit voice recorder, Dinh-Zarr said.
She said that NTSB investigators are examining flight controls, weather conditions, the plane's maintenance records, air traffic control and the experience and training of the crew members. They have also interviewed a pilot who landed at Akron Fulton International Airport just before the crash occurred. While the airport does not have a control tower, the pilot said he did not hear any distress calls from the plane that crashed, according to Dinh-Zarr. She said they were looking at weather as one of the key areas of the investigation.
The owner of the jet, Augusto Lewkowicz, told the Akron Beacon Journal there were nine people on board, including seven passengers. He said there was no indication from the pilots there was anything wrong before the crash.
FAA officials would not confirm the number of injured, or people on board the plane.
The crash occurred at about 3 p.m. as the Hawker H25 jet approached Akron Fulton International Airport, Tony Molinaro, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration, told BuzzFeed News.
It was not immediately clear where the small, twin-engine business jet had taken off from.
Amazingly, no one was inside the building at the time of the crash, officials said.
"The situation could have been worse," Lt. Bill Haymaker of the Ohio State Highway Patrol said. "They were not home."
Haymaker said the plane could seat up to 10 passengers, but would not confirm how many people were on board at the time. There were no survivors on board, he said.
The jet went down about five miles from the airport, knocking out electricity and phone lines as it crashed, he said.
The sound of the crash sent residents running out of their homes as a massive fire engulfed the apartment building.
A resident of the neighborhood where the jet went down told the local Fox affiliate electricity went out at nearly the same time as the crash, with subsequent explosions heard after the initial impact.
Haymaker said the plane appeared to have brought down several wires before it struck the apartment building.
The jet then ended up in an embankment, sparking a fire that ignited the building directly hit by the plane and spreading to a second building.
FAA and National Transportation Safety Board investigators are looking into what brought down the plane, Molinaro said.
Salvador Hernandez is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.
Contact Salvador Hernandez at email@example.com.
Tasneem Nashrulla is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Tasneem Nashrulla at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.