Philadelphia Inquirer co-owner, six others die in US plane crash

A co-owner of The Philadelphia Inquirer and six other people were killed when a private business jet crashed during takeoff from an airfield outside Boston.

The Gulfstream IV jet burst into a fireball upon crashing late Saturday at LG Hanscom Field, located just northwest of Boston, killing all aboard.

Among the victims was Lewis Katz, 72, who had joined with another businessman Tuesday in buying out the other owners of the Inquirer and two local publications, the newspaper said.

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On Saturday, Katz had attended an education-related event hosted by historian Doris Kearns Goodwin and her husband at their home in Concord, Massachusetts.

Officials at the Bedford-Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) said emergency personnel responded to the crash.

The National Transportation Safety Board said in a message on Twitter late Saturday that it would investigate.

Katz rose to the top of the business world investing in a parking empire and the Yankees Entertainment and Sports Network in New York. He was the one-time owner of the NBA New Jersey Nets and the NHL New Jersey Devils.

"Lewis was a trusted friend and valued member of the NBA family," the association's commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement Sunday.

"He was a visionary businessman who touched the lives of so many with his tireless pursuit of innovation and enterprise, as well as his deep commitment to his family, friends and community."

Inquirer co-owner H.F. "Gerry" Lenfest told the paper: "We all deeply mourn the loss of my true friend and fellow investor."

by Robin MILLARD © 2014 AFP

Source: AFP
Date: Jun 1, 2014