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Investigators Say No Evidence Of Distress Call From Jet That Crashed In Akron

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The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are in Akron to begin investigating Tuesday’s plane crash that killed nine people.

Families of victims have begun to arrive in Akron, but it could be days before their loved ones are recovered from the crash site, according to authorities. 

The small jet, which intended to land at Akron Fulton Airport, crashed shortly before 3 p.m. Tuesday. 

NTSB vice chairwoman Bella Dinh-Zarr said a security camera shows the plane banking to the left before it crashed into a four-unit apartment building. 

“We do have evidence that the power lines were clipped. The left wing, in fact, hit the ground and left marks, we call them witness marks," she said. "But we’ll be looking into all the factors to see what may have contributed to this.”

The NTSB explained planes landing at the small Akron Fulton airport communicate with Akron International as they approach to land because Akron Fulton does not have a control tower. 

NTSB lead investigator Jim Silliman said investigators interviewed the pilot who successfully landed a plane just before the Hawker H25, carrying seven passengers, crashed. 

"The airplane that landed beforehand was on that same frequency; they stated that they did not hear any distress calls or anything of that nature," Silliman said. 

The seven passengers and two pilots died. Pebb Enterprises, a Florida real estate company, said its employees were on the chartered flight. 

The NTSB  reports the plane's cockpit voice recorder has been recovered, and in the coming days investigators will be review everything from the plane’s flight controls to its maintenance records. The planes engines also will be analyzed. 

Ohio Highway Patrol spokesman Bill Haymaker said it will be a lengthy investigation and recovery could take days. A benefit, Haymaker said, is the crash site is considered small and contained.

“The passenger compartment is somewhat intact. It is not a scattered scene. It is heavily burned, and that what lies the problem with the recovery at this point, and that’s why we have the specialists," Haymaker said. 

More than 20 anthropologists from Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pennsylvania will help recover the remains from the wreckage. 

“They have the skill set necessary to do a very organized recovery," Summit County Medical Examiner Lisa Kohler said. 

No one on the ground was injured during the crash. But an apartment building was destroyed and adjacent structures were damaged. Haymaker said about a dozen families were affected.
“The Red Cross is helping assist with those families whether it’s food, clothing and giving them the opportunity to put them up hotels," he said.