Plane en route from Atlantic City crashes in Minn.
(AP) - A small jet flying from New Jersey toMinnesota crashed in poor weather Thursday, killing seven businesstravelers.
FAA spokeswoman Elizabeth Isham Cory said the plane went down ator near a regional airport about 60 miles south of the Twin Cities.A line of storm thunderstorms was moving across southern Minnesotaat the time.
Cory said authorities believe the aircraft took off fromAtlantic City, N.J., but cautioned that the information waspreliminary.
The flight-tracking Web site FlightAware.com showed a RaytheonHawker 800 business jet was due to arrive in Owatonna from AtlanticCity at 9:42 a.m. Thursday. The plane was scheduled to leave anhour later for Crossville, Tenn.
The plane was operated by a charter firm called East Coast JetsInc. A person who answered the phone at the company declined tocomment.
The Owatonna People's Press reported the plane was carryingcustomers to Viracon Inc., an Owatonna-based glass company thatearlier this year was awarded a contract to supply glass to theWorld Trade Center site.
Viracon President Don Pyatt told the newspaper that thecustomers were from a couple of companies coming to the plant todiscuss a project in Las Vegas.
He did not immediately return a call from The Associated Press.
Mary Ann Jackson, a spokeswoman for Viracon's parent company,Apogee Enterprises Inc., confirmed to The Associated Press that thepassengers were Viracon customers but declined to elaborate.
Degner Regional Airport's Web site describes it as "ideal forall classes of corporate aircraft" with an all-weather instrumentlanding system. "Maintaining access to Owatonna's businesscommunity in all weather conditions is a priority," the site says.
The thunderstorms brought winds up to 80 mph that knocked outpower lines, snapped trees and damaged some buildings.