A private plane headed to Atlantic City crashed and erupted into a fireball at Hanscom Field in Massachusetts shortly after its Saturday night take-off. Authorities said on Sunday that all seven people on board were killed, including Lewis Katz, co-owner of The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Daily News, and Philly.com. “There were no survivors. Our thoughts and prayers are with the people on board and their loved ones,” said Matthew Brelis, a spokesman for the Massachusetts Port Authority. Emergency personnel are still at the scene, and Hanscom Field has been closed.
The Boston Globe reports that Katz was in Concord, Massachusetts on Saturday afternoon for an event at the home of historian Doris Kearns Goodwin. According to NBC10, Anne Leeds, wife of Longport, New Jersey commissioner Jim Leeds, was also on board the Gulfstream IV when it crashed, though a full list of passengers has yet to be released.
From inside Katz’s company, H.F.“Gerry” Lenfest told Philly.com, “We all deeply mourn the loss of my true friend and fellow investor in ownership of The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Daily News and Philly.com.” The 72-year-old was likely celebrating Tuesday’s buy-out — he and Lenfest spent $88 million to gain control of the media company that owns the Inquirer. “It is a severe loss, but I am pleased to announce that Drew Katz, Lewis’s son, will replace his father on the board of our new company,” Lenfest added.