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Mercyhurst forensics team called to Akron crash site

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

A Mercyhurst University forensic anthropology team, headed by Dr. Dennis Dirkmaat, was summoned to the scene of a fiery jet crash in Akron, Ohio, that killed all nine people on board Tuesday afternoon.

Dirkmaat and Drs. Heather Garvin and Alexandra Klales, accompanied by applied forensic sciences department staff member Kathi Staaf and several graduate students, were at the site Wednesday to assist in the recovery of remains.

Dirkmaat’s speciality is in “the archaeological recovery of human remains from outdoor contexts.” He was the lead forensic anthropologist at the 9/11 crash in Somerset County and also at the 2009 crash of Continental Connection in Buffalo, among others.

According to news reports, a private charter jet with nine people on board crashed into an Akron apartment building, leaving no survivors. The owner of the plane confirmed nine people were on board.

It appeared no one on the ground in the Ellet neighborhood where the crash occurred was injured or killed. Eyewitnesses reported seeing the plane fall out of the sky and a huge ball of fire after the crash, which happened shortly before 3 p.m.

The midsize Hawker 800 corporate jet was chartered by Execuflight, a Florida company.