News

Philadelphia Inquirer co-owner among dead in Mass. plane crash

Philadelphia Inquirer co-owner among dead in Mass. plane crash

Lewis Katz, co-managing partner of the Philadelphia Media Network and former owner of the New Jersey Nets NBA basketball team and the New Jersey Devils NHL hockey team, takes part in a panel discussion. Photo: Reuters

BEDFORD, MASSACHUSETTS (Reuters) – Lewis Katz, the co-owner of the Philadelphia Inquirer newspaper, was among seven people killed when a private jet caught fire and crashed as it tried to take off near Boston.

Authorities have yet to release names of the six other people killed in the Saturday night plane crash at Hanscom Field in Bedford, Massachusetts, about 20 miles northwest of Boston.

The National Transportation Safety Board, which is investigating the incident, said they included three other passengers, two pilots and a cabin attendant.

Luke Schiada, an NTSB senior air safety investigation officer, said it was too early to speculate on what caused the accident that occurred at about 9:40 p.m. Saturday as the flight attempted to make its way back to Atlantic City.

“We haven’t ruled out anything, but there is no reason to suggest it was anything but an accident,” he said at a Sunday afternoon news conference.

The plane rolled into the grass, struck an antenna that is part of the airport’s instrument landing system, crashed through a chain link fence, then down an embankment into a gully with water about 2,000 feet from the end of the paved surface of the runway. The jet’s remains were fragmented and partially burned after “a significant post-crash fire,” Schiada said.

Schiada, who traveled from New York to head up the investigation, said that one witness had told authorities that the aircraft had never left the ground.

Authorities were still removing the remains of the passengers from the site and searching for the flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder on Sunday afternoon, Schiada said.

The Inquirer said that Katz had flown to Massachusetts for a benefit at the home of noted historian Doris Kearns Goodwin and her husband.

Katz and business partner H.F. Lenfest last week bought out their partners for $88 million, gaining control of the media company that owns the Inquirer.

“We’ve lost a great friend,” Inquirer editor Bill Marimow said in a statement to the newspaper.

Katz, 72, also co-owned Philadelphia’s Daily News and Philly.com, and was formerly the owner of the professional basketball team, the New Jersey Nets, and professional hockey team the New Jersey Devils, the newspaper said on its website.

“Lewis Katz’s death won’t derail the sale of the Inquirer, Daily News & Philly.com,” the paper said on its Twitter feed.

Lenfest told the newspaper: “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.”

Sharon Williams, the Hanscom Field director, said that families of the victims were being notified and more information would be released as it became available.

“Lewis was a humble, soft spoken guy with a big heart who never forgot where he came from or how he achieved success,” Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter said in a statement.

Recent Headlines

1 hour ago in Sports

Panthers turn page to 2016 after deflating Super Bowl loss

Fresh
Carolina Panthers' head coach Ron Rivera talks to the media following an NFL wild card playoff football game victory against the Arizona Cardinals in Charlotte, N.C., Saturday, Jan. 3, 2015. The Panthers won 27-16.

Rivera congratulated his players on a special season Tuesday before they packed their bags and headed out the door, then flipped the page forward to next season.

4 hours ago in Sports

Lisa Borders announced as new WNBA President

FILE - In this Oct. 28, 2009, file photo, Atlanta mayoral candidate Lisa Borders makes calls to supporters in her office at her campaign headquarters in Atlanta. Borders, who helped bring the Dream to Atlanta in 2008 as the city's vice mayor, will become the WNBA's fourth president, the league announced, Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2016. The move comes three months after former president Laurel J. Richie stepped down. (AP Photo/Johnny Clark, File)

The move announced Wednesday comes three months after former president Laurel J. Richie stepped down.

7 hours ago in Viral Videos

Who’s your daddy?

16-overlay-10

When you're a baby and your dad is a twin, life can be confusing.

5 hours ago in Sports

Donaldson, Blue Jays complete $28.65 million, 2-year deal

Toronto Blue Jays' Josh Donaldson (20) hits an RBI single against the New York Yankees in Game 2 of a doubleheader baseball game at Yankee Stadium, Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek)

Donaldson receives $11.65 million this year and $17 million in 2017 under the deal announced Wednesday.

6 hours ago in Sports

Sacramento coach Karl says meeting with Divac positive

georgekarl

Karl said Wednesday before the Kings-76ers game in Philadelphia that he and Divac are on the same page.

Bellingham Traffic