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June 1, 2014

Jet bursts into fireball on takeoff at Hanscom

BEDFORD — A twin-engine jet bound for Atlantic City crashed on takeoff and burst into what witnesses called a “fireball” last night at the former Hanscom Air Force Base.

State Police confirmed that the plane was fully engulfed. The crash occurred at 9:40 p.m.

The Federal Aviation Administration reported that a Gulfstream IV Aircraft “apparently ran off Runway 11.”

“The aircraft was departing, it apparently caught fire,” the FAA said in a brief statement.

The Gulfstream IV is a twin-jet engine aircraft mainly used for private or business travel.

The agency said it wasn’t aware of how many people were aboard the aircraft.

There were reports that as many as seven people were aboard the plane. A later report indicated no survivors, although that has not been confirmed.

The former Air Force Base has been tied to several fatal crashes although this is first crash in recent years at the Bedford field is just off busy Interstate 95.

Last May, an Angel Flight that took off from Hanscom crashed in rural New York, killing three people on board, according to authorities.

The Piper PA 34 aircraft was 60 miles from its Rome, N.Y., destination when it went down near Garoga, N.Y. The bodies of one male and one female were recovered from the scene of the crash, according to Fulton County Sheriff Thomas Lorey.

In 1962, Hanscom was also the destination of Air Force KC-135A Stratotanker that crashed on approach to the airport. The plane, originating from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, clipped telephone poles and crashed, killing the three service personnel aboard.

Staff writers Mark E. Vogler and Joel Barrett contributed to this report.




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