Philadelphia Inquirer Co-Owner Among 7 Killed in MA Plane Crash
Officials at Hanscom Field say that all seven people on board a private plane were killed when the plane crashed attempting to take off Saturday.
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The Philadelphia Inquirer co-owner Lewis Katz was among seven people killed on board an Atlantic City-bound private jet when the plane crashed and caught fire shortly after takeoff from a Massachusetts airfield late Saturday.
Bill Marimow, the paper's editor, confirmed Katz's death to Philly.com on Sunday, saying he learned the news from close associates.
Officials said that the Gulfstream IV jet was leaving Hanscom Field in Bedford, Mass., when it crashed and caught fire at approximately 9:40 p.m. local time.
"There were no survivors," Matthew Brelis, a spokesman for the Massachusetts Port Authority, said early Sunday. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the people on board and their loved ones."
Sharon Williams, director of the airport, said families were being notified early Sunday morning, the Boston Herald reported.
The names of the other victims were not immediately released, and it was not immediately clear if the victims were all traveling together to Atlantic City. Authorities have not said what they believe caused the crash, which is under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board.
Nearby residents recounted seeing a fireball and feeling the blast of the explosion shake their homes.
Jeff Patterson told The Boston Globe he saw a fireball about 60 feet in the air and suspected the worst for those aboard the plane.
"I heard a big boom, and I thought at the time that someone was trying to break into my house because it shook it," said Patterson's son, 14-year-old Jared Patterson. "I thought someone was like banging on the door trying to get in."
The airfield was closed while first responders were on the scene.
A hazardous materials team also responded to the scene and firefighters worked throughout the night to douse the flames, the Boston Herald reported.
Hanscom Field is about 20 miles northwest of Boston. It was used by the Army Air Corps and military operations dominated until it became both a military and civilian facility in the 1950s. Massport currently manages it as a regional airport serving mostly corporate aviation, private pilots, commuter air services, and some light cargo.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.