The fiery jet crash at an Ohio apartment building Tuesday afternoon killed all nine people on board, the plane’s owner and operator told a local newspaper.
Augusto Lewkowicz told the Akron Beacon Journal on Tuesday that he would not release the names of the seven passengers and two crew members aboard the doomed Hawker H25.
The plane took off from Dayton and was on its final approach to Akron Fulton International Airport when it crashed into the apartment complex in Akron at about 3 p.m. ET, federal aviation officials said. No one was injured on the ground.
“I owe responses to the family members first,” Lewkowicz said.
According to the siblings of one of the confirmed victims, the seven passengers were employees of Pebb Enterprises, a commercial property management firm in Boca Raton, Florida. They were on a trip scouting properties to buy, the siblings said.
On Monday, the group made a multi-trip flight from Florida to Minnesota, then Iowa to Missouri, and then finally to Cincinnati to spend the night. On Tuesday, they flew from Cincinnati to Dayton, before the ill-fated flight to Akron.
Authorities have not yet confirmed the number of people on board or the number of fatalities, and officials have not determined the cause of the crash. The National Transportation Safety Board was sending investigators to the scene, with recovery operations set to resume Wednesday morning.
Quincy Vagell, a meteorologist for The Weather Channel, said Tuesday that conditions in the area were “poor, with low visibility and fog.”
“Outside of a controlled runway landing, getting a plane down safely in an emergency would have been a very tough task,” Vagell said.
The residential neighborhood in southeast Akron was filled with thick, black smoke billowing from the crash site. Witnesses described a “loud roar” and a plane plummeting from the sky.
“I heard a loud plane that sounded super low to the ground,” Hannah McCune, who lives near the crash scene, told NBC News. “Then I heard a big boom and looked up and saw a bunch of smoke and flames.”