Five Environmental Consultants Killed In Plane Crash En Route To Ohio Factory Explosion

(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

OAN Deven Berryhill
UPDATED 4:45 PM PT – Thursday, February 23, 2023

Five people died in a plane crash en route to investigate the deadly metal factory explosion in Bedford, Ohio on Wednesday.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the twin propeller-engine Beech BE20, bound for Columbus International Airport in Ohio, went down shortly after takeoff. F.A.A. officials stated that the ill-fated flight had originated out of Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport in Little Rock, Arkansas.  Federal investigators said this investigation will most likely be treated as an accident.

The Pulaski County, Arkansas, Sheriff’s Office said it was alerted to the crash at 12:02 p.m.. Four of the five souls on board were environmental data collection and incident management specialists at the Center for Toxicology and Environmental Health (CTEH.) The consulting firm based in North Little Rock, confirmed that all five people, including the pilot, that were killed in the crash were its employees.

“We are incredibly saddened to report the loss of our Little Rock colleagues,” Paul Nony, senior vice president of CTEH, said in a statement. “We ask everyone to keep the families of those lost and the entire CTEH team in their thoughts and prayers.”

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigators are expected to arrive at the scene Thursday. 

“Once on scene, the investigator will begin the process of documenting the scene and examining the aircraft. Part of the investigation will be to request radar data, weather information, air traffic control communication, maintenance records and the pilot’s medical records. NTSB investigators will look at the human, machine and environment as the outline of the investigation,” the NTSB said in the statement.

The Pulaski Sheriff’s Office said that weather was potentially a factor in the incident. According to local meteorologists, weather around Clinton National airport had seen significant wind gusts around the time of the crash. The National Weather Service reported there at the time of the accident there were wind gusts of 40 miles per hour and a line of thunderstorms moving through the area .