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

NEW YORK (AFP) - An owner of the Philadelphia Inquirer and six other people were killed when a private business jet crashed on take off from an airfield outside Boston, officials and media said on Sunday.

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

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

The identities of the other victims were not immediately made public.

Officials at the Bedford-Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) said emergency personnel responded to the crash and added that the airfield would be closed until further notice.

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

Mr 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.

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