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Susan Smith-Harmon

Susan Smith-Harmon

   LOS ANGELES (AP) — Rescuers and investigators were working amid the smoldering wreckage of a private jet and the hangar it hit after landing at a Southern California airport, but they did not expect to find any survivors from the flight from Idaho with an unknown number aboard, officials said.

   "This was an unsurvivable crash," Santa Monica Fire Department Capt. John Nevandro said at a media briefing hours later at Santa Monica Municipal Airport.

   Because the hangar collapsed in flames around it and a crane would be required before the plane could be reached, investigators had been unable to determine how many people were aboard the twin-engine Cessna Citation designed to hold eight passengers and two crew members, officials said.

   It had taken off from Hailey, Idaho and landed in Santa Monica when it went off the right side of the runway at about 6:20 p.m. and struck the hangar, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said.

   The blaze did minor damage to two other buildings and destroyed the hangar.

   "It was a total loss," Fire Department spokeswoman Bridgett Lewis said.

   News helicopter footage showed all but the tail of the plane trapped under a collapsed section of the small building.

   Investigators could not immediately say whether anyone was inside the hangar.

   A plume of smoke rising above the airport could be seen in the twilight sky over the populous neighborhoods surrounding the airport in the hours after the crash.

   After hearing a loud boom, several neighbors ran toward the airport and saw the fire.

   "It was very, very terrifying, it was sad to see just so much smoke, and the building collapse and the loud boom, you just put it all together and it's scary," witness Alyssa Lang told KABC-TV.

   Witness Charles Thomson told the TV station the plane appeared to make a "perfectly normal landing" before veering off course.

   The jet, a Cessna 525A manufactured in 2003, is registered to a Malibu, Calif. address and its corporate owner, Creative Real Estate Exchange, is based in Birmingham, Ala., and Atlanta, according to FAA public records.

   Phone messages left after hours at the real estate company's two offices were not immediately returned.

   The National Transportation Safety Board would take over the investigation as is routine in such crashes.

   Santa Monica Airport, located in the coastal tourist destination known for its trendy bars, restaurants and wooden-pier carnival, is home to many private jets, many of them used by wealthy Southern Californians from the entertainment industry.

   The airport in Hailey serves Idaho's Sun Valley resort area, which is a frequent destination for many celebrities, and the rich and powerful alike.

 

Taste of St. Louis to tickle tongues this weekend

Friday, 27 September 2013 04:02 Published in Around Town

   If it smells like someone's cooking up something good, they just might be.  Chefs all over the metro area are getting ready for this weekend's Taste of St. Louis.  

   This year's event will feature 46 restaurants, bakeries and caterers offering dishes for $2 to $7 each.  

   Besides edible offerings, the event features a Culinary show, musical performances and a hot sauce showcase.  More than 400-thousand people turned out for last year's Taste.  

   This year's event kicks off at Soldier's Memorial in downtown St. Louis Friday at 4:00 p.m. and runs through Sunday.  

   Information about festival hours, parking, featured restaurants and special presentations can be found on the TasteSTL website.

   CHICAGO (AP) - An Illinois judge promises to rule on the future of a lawsuit seeking to legalize same-sex marriage in the state.

   The lawsuit was filed last year by 25 gay couples who want the right to marry.

   Cook County Judge Sophia Hall is expected to rule Friday on a motion to dismiss the case.

   Lawyers for five downstate county clerks who are defending the ban want the case tossed. Plaintiffs' attorneys want the judge to let the lawsuit stand - then rule immediately that they won the lawsuit and that the ban is illegal.

   The clerks won permission to defend the ban after Cook County's top prosecutor and the Illinois attorney general refused to do so, saying the 17 year old ban violates the state constitution.

   Illinois legalized civil unions two years ago.

 

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