NJ-bound plane, 7 aboard, catches fire on takeoff

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BEDFORD, Mass. (AP) — A private plane with seven people aboard crashed and erupted into fire Saturday night as it was leaving Hanscom Field in Massachusetts, authorities said.

Details on the condition of the seven aboard the Gulfstream IV aircraft were not available as emergency personnel continued to work the scene overnight. Nearby residents recounted seeing a fireball and feeling the blast of the explosion shake their homes.

“Their conditions at this time are unknown,” Matthew Brelis, a spokesman for the Massachusetts Port Authority, which operates the air field in Bedford, said of those who were on the plane. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the people on board and their loved ones.”

The plane was headed to Atlantic City International Airport in New Jersey when it apparently went off the runway and crashed at 9:40 p.m. then caught fire, authorities said.

Jeff Patterson told The Boston Globe he saw a fireball about 60 feet in the air and suspected the worst for those aboard the plane.

“I heard a big boom, and I thought at the time that someone was trying to break into my house because it shook it,” said Patterson’s son, 14-year-old Jared Patterson. “I thought someone was like banging on the door trying to get in.”

The air field, which serves the public, was closed.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating and will determine the cause of the accident, said Jim Peters, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration.

Associated Press



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