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Larry Hillblom; Co-Founder of DHL Worldwide Express

<i> From Times Wire Services</i>

Larry Hillblom, multimillionaire co-founder of DHL Worldwide Express, was one of three men killed in a plane crash north of the western Pacific island of Saipan, it was reported Monday.

The 52-year-old Hillblom, a resident of Saipan for about 10 years, was a passenger in a small plane that crashed into the ocean north of the island, DHL spokesman Dean Christon said from company headquarters in Redwood City, Calif.

The other passenger was identified as Jesus P. Mafnas, vice speaker of the House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, in which Saipan is the main island. The bodies of Hillblom and Mafnas were recovered. The third man, identified by Christon as the pilot, was not immediately found.

The three had left Saipan early Sunday on a pleasure trip to Pagan, a small island north of Guam, the official said.

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It was the second crash involving Hillblom in less than three years. In August, 1992, he was treated in Hawaii for facial injuries after his single-engine Cessna went down on Tinian in the Mariana Islands.

Hillblom founded DHL with Adrian Dalsey and Robert Lynn in 1969; the company’s name comes from their initials. Dalsey died last year and Lynn left the company shortly after its founding, Christon said.

Hillblom remained a major shareholder in the $3-billion-a-year air courier company but was not involved in its operations, Christon said. He also was a shareholder in Continental Airlines.

The Northern Marianas are about 4,000 miles west of Honolulu.

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