7 of 9 believed dead in Ohio plane crash were employees, execs of Florida real-estate firm


Seven of the nine people believed killed when a small business jet crashed into an apartment building were employees or executives in a Florida real-estate company, the firm confirmed Wednesday.

Seven employees of Boca Raton-based developer Pebb Enterprises were killed in the crash Tuesday afternoon, officials from the company confirmed in a statement. 

“We are shocked and deeply saddened for the families, colleagues and friends of those who perished. Our first priority is to give our fullest support to the family members and loved ones of our co-workers,” the statement reads.

Two of those killed were principals in the company and five others were employees, officials said.

Family members identified Diane Smoot of Florida as one of nine people killed in the crash. She was traveling with colleagues to scout real estate with Pebb Enterprises, according to reports.

Investigators are trying to determine what caused the jet to strike the Akron building with a huge bang, shaking furniture in homes several blocks away and leaving behind fiery debris.

Authorities said no one aboard the 10-seat Hawker H25 jet survived Tuesday afternoon, but they would not confirm the number of people on the plane. They said earlier that there were at least two deaths. No one was inside the four-unit apartment building or another home that caught fire, said Lt. Sierjie Lash, an Akron fire department spokeswoman.

The Associated Press contributed to this story



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