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2 Illinois State Univ. Athletic Officials Among 7 Dead In Plane Crash

The associate basketball coach and the deputy athletic director of Illinois State University were two of seven killed in a plane crash near Bloomington, Ill., in the early hours of Tuesday.

The university said Torrey Ward and Aaron Leetch were on a Cessna 414 that was returning from Indianapolis after the NCAA basketball championship game.

"Words cannot fully express the grief that is felt in the wake of such a tragedy. We move between shock and profound sadness," university President Larry H. Dietz said in a statement. "At times like these we may even question our deeply held beliefs and wonder what the future will hold."

The Chicago Tribune has a bit more on the situation surrounding the crash:

"The plane left the Indianapolis airport around 11 p.m. Monday and hit heavy fog over central Illinois, authorities said. Around 12:15 a.m., radar contact with the plane was lost, according to the sheriff's office.

"A search was launched and a Bloomington police officer discovered the wreckage in a field northwest of the airport, the office said. 'It was determined that there were no survivors,' it said in a statement."

The National Transportation Safety Board is still investigating the cause of the crash.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.

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