A fighter jet crashed on a roadway near an air show in England and eleven persons have died, up fromt he initial total of seven. The tragedy took place near the city of Brighton in southern England at Shoreham airport, the scene of the air show.
The single-seater Hawker Hunter fighter jet was performing as part of the air show when the pilot lost control and crashed into cars on the road near to the airport. The BBC was on hand and spoke with an eye witness, Stephen Jones.
“He’d gone up into a loop and as he was coming out of the loop I just thought, you’re too low, you’re too low, pull up,” Jones told a BBC reporter. “And he flew straight into the ground either on or very close to the A27, which runs past the airport.”
In addition to the dead, the pilot was pulled alive from the wreckage and is fighting for his life in hospital; 14 others were described as injured, with many taken to hospital and others treated on scene. Police said later in the day that they may find more bodies in the rubble of the plane and the cars it hit. They’ve recieved calls from people concerned about relatives not heard from that they fear may have been in the area.
A massive rescue operation took place that included helicopters and numerous fire trucks. Police kept onlookers well back in case of additional explosions. The accident shocked the hundreds of onlookers watching from the airshow and from in and around the town.
“It just didn’t seem to have enough speed to come out of the loop, instead of powering out of it, it dropped too fast and hit the ground,” 51-year-old local David Penwarden said. “There was a massive fireball and an awful lot of smoke.
“Afterwards there was a stunned silence.”