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Deal reached on Flight 93 crash site

The owner of the land in western Pennsylvania where Flight 93 crashed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks reached an agreement to sell the parcel, clearing the way for the development of a memorial.

world Updated: Jan 18, 2009 05:20 IST

The owner of the land in western Pennsylvania where Flight 93 crashed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks reached an agreement to sell the parcel, clearing the way for the development of a memorial.

The National Park Service, Families of Flight 93 and land owner Svonavec, Inc announced the deal for the 274-acres in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, in a joint statement.

"It ends what has been a three-year process of trying to get those lands under federal ownership to protect the remains of the passengers and crew," Patrick White, vice president of the Families of Flight 93 said. "That's the key. That's the essential, that's the most...Outstanding aspect of it."

The agreement gives the National Park Service access to the land, including the site where the plan crashed, and allows for the planning and construction of the memorial.

The three also agreed to let a court determine the value of the land. White and Patrick Svonavec, the attorney for Mike Svonavec, the treasurer of the company, characterised the deal as an amicable condemnation.

"Our concern has always been to protect the lands and have the park service own them. That will occur very quickly," White said.

"We're one huge step closer to actually having a memorial to dedicate on September 11, 2011."

A suit will be filed in federal court, possibly within a couple weeks.

Michael Svonavec, president and treasurer of Svonavec, Inc, said he was glad to have a deal in place.

"The agreement allows the parties to cooperatively move forward on a methodology by which the evaluation will be determined," he said in a statement.