The Shoreham Airshow came to a disastrous end as a plane crash left several people dead and a pilot in critical condition. The Guardian reports that on Saturday afternoon, pilot Andy “Hilz” Hill had attempted an impressive loop maneuver with a Hawker Hunter single-seat fighter jet.
Unfortunately, he failed to pull out in time. His plane crashed on the A27 road, just north of the Shoreham airport. Witnesses told the press Hill failed to eject from the jet before it slammed into the ground.
There are videos of the crash available, such as the one below.
Warning: The following video features actual plane crash footage, which may be too graphic or disturbing for some viewers. Discretion is strongly advised.
According to the BBC, the jet slammed into four cars. Seven people were pronounced dead at the scene, and unconfirmed reports claim this number includes two cyclists. Fourteen others were treated for mild to moderate injuries caused by the plane crash.
Airshow pilot Andy Hill was taken to the Royal Sussex County Hospital, where he remains in critical condition. Those who know Hill describe him as “a very experienced formation instructor and display pilot.”
Eyewitnesses who were extremely close to the disaster began to post pictures and video of the event on social media within minutes of it happening.
Horrific accident to witness- the plane was looping,then looked like it just couldn’t pull up.So sad #ShorehamAirshow pic.twitter.com/jGsGqT3yVe
— Katie Perrin (@katie_perrin3) August 22, 2015
— Deano (@DeanomusicUK) August 22, 2015
Dom Lawson described himself as terrifyingly close to the Shoreham plane crash. He told the Guardian, “If I’d been 20 seconds faster I would not be having this conversation.”
Lawson said that he saw multiple cars consumed by fire during the Shoreham tragedy.
“It was like something out of Die Hard.”
Following the devastating incident, thousands of spectators who arrived for the airshow soon found themselves stranded. The section of A27 where the crash occurred was reportedly shut down in the aftermath. Police forced individuals away from the scene in the event of additional explosions.
A Sussex Police spokesman told the press, “The casualties are all believed to have occurred on the road at this time. [T]here are not thought to be any injuries to anyone actually on the airfield.” The Air Accident Investigation Bureau asked anyone with images or video to “hold onto” them to assist the agency’s inquiries.
“[A]nyone who has video or photographs of the plane in the time leading up to and including the crash [should] hold on to them and await advice as to whether they may be wanted to assist with the investigation.”
[Image Credit: Screen Grab From YouTube / Dan Tube]