UK & World News

  • 1 June 2014, 19:29

Philly Newspaper Owner Killed In Plane Crash

The co-owner of Philadelphia's largest newspaper is among seven people killed in a fiery plane crash in Massachusetts.

Lewis Katz, the co-owner of The Philadelphia Inquirer, was on board the private jet that crashed as it was taking off from Hanscom Field just before 10pm on Saturday.

The 72-year-old's death was confirmed by Inquirer editor Bill Marimow.

Matthew Brelis, a spokesman for the Massachusetts Port Authority, said the Gulfstream IV jet was bound for Atlantic City International Airport.

"There were no survivors," MrBrelis said. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the people on board and their loved ones."

The identities of the other six victims were not immediately released.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is investigating the crash to determine a cause.

Witnesses said they saw a fireball and felt the blast of the explosion shake their homes.

Jeff Patterson told The Boston Globe he saw a fireball about 60ft in the air.

Mr Patterson's 14-year-old son, Jared, told The Globe: "I heard a big boom, and I thought at the time that someone was trying to break into my house because it shook it.

"I thought someone was, like, banging on the door trying to get in."

The air field, about 20 miles northwest of Boston, was closed after the crash.

Mr Katz emerged victorious just last week from a drawn-out battle against former Inquirer co-owner George Norcross.

The two businessmen had been jockeying for control of The Inquirer and its sister paper, the Philadelphia Daily News, following a year-long dispute over editorial decisions, including Mr Norcross' attempt to sack Mr Marimow.

Mr Katz, along with philanthropist HF "Gerry" Lenfest, managed to wrest control of the newspapers and their shared website, Philly.com, with an $88m(52m) bid on May 27.

Mr Katz, who made his fortune investing in the Kinney Parking empire and the Yankees Entertainment and Sports Network in New York, once owned the NBA's New Jersey Nets and the NHL's New Jersey Devils.

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