On Tuesday, November 10th, a plane crashed into a building on Mogadore Road in Akron, Ohio. Coincidentally, a girl was using the social media app Snapchat at that exact moment in an apartment building close by. Paige McVeigh was recording a video to send to her friend when she noticed a flash of light outside her window and yelled, “Oh my god!” Sadly, no one on the plane survived.
Execuflight’s Charter Jet Crash
The private charter jet was a Hawker H25 business jet from the company Execuflight, with the ability to seat 10 people. It had taken off from Ft. Lauderdale, FL on November 9th and was scheduled for multiple stops, including St. Paul, St. Louis and Cincinnati, and was only four miles from the Akron Fulton airport when the crash happened.
The plane clipped power lines and crashed into the roof of an apartment building, setting both the plane and the building on fire. No one was home in the apartment building at the time of the crash or another nearby house, which also caught fire. There were two crew members and seven passengers on the plane, all of whom perished in the crash.
Though all names have not been released pending family notifications, one passenger has been identified as Diane Smoot, a 50-year-old from Boca Raton, FL.
Besides McVeigh, many individuals located nearby reported hearing a loud explosion when the plane made contact and reported furniture shaking in their homes.
As soon as the plane had crashed, a school bus pulled onto the street, driven by Sandy Jett. She saw the fire begin and heard the explosion, but did not realize it was a plane crash at the time. All she saw was the power lines beginning to fall and knew she had to get the children to safety. She kept cool and backed up until all the kids were safe and out of harm’s way. She will be honored for her bravery and her efforts in the community.
The Akron chief of police, Jim Nice, said in a speech before the Akron City Council’s Public Safety Committee that the well-organized response to the disaster was the best he’s ever seen in his years of public service. It was not only the fire in the plane and buildings that had to be contended with, but the stream of jet fuel which lit the entire hillside on fire and produced a fire ball reaching the tree tops.
The nearby businesses helped rescue and response workers complete their jobs excellently as well. Papa John’s Pizza, Fiesta Pizza, Giant Eagle and Edible Arrangements all pitched in to offer free food while the workers stayed on site to contain and put out the fire and gather and identify human remains and investigate the cause of the crash.
No report has been issued yet as to the reason for the disaster, but the National Transportation Safety Board is expected to release a statement in the coming days.