The death toll from an English airshow crash is rising quickly, with officials estimating that at least around 11 people may have died when an aged Hawker Hunter jet crashed in the middle of a busy road called the A27.
In a related report by the Inquisitr, witnesses to the English airshow crash realized something had gone wrong moments before the jet crash occurred.
“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. And he flew straight into the ground either on or very close to the A27, which runs past the airport.”
Witnesses said there was stunned silence after the massive fireball spewed smoke into the air. Emergency crews cleared the surrounding areas, but it appears none of the victims of the English airshow crash were inside the air show itself.
Paramedic Steve Andrews was one of the first emergency response crews to reach the site of the English airshow crash on the A27.
“It was a scene of utter devastation. The aircraft was still burning at the time, there were a lot of cars heavily damaged, debris all over,” he said. “Unfortunately, there was not a lot we could do for the casualties in the cars.”
Amazingly, the pilot of the Hawker Hunter jet crash, aerobatic stunt flyer Andy Hill, survived the plane crash, but he remains in a critical condition in a hospital. Others were not so fortunate.
“The numbers are increasing,” said Sussex Police Assistant Chief Constable Steve Barry in a statement on Sunday. “We are at 11 that are believed to have been killed as a result of the crash, but we do know that number is likely to rise. However, we do not expect that figure to be greater than 20, probably fewer. What that will uncover in terms of further recovery work is unknown and it’s possible that once the aircraft is moved that we will discover more fatalities.”
According to Channel News Asia, while officials are still investigating the cause of the English airshow crash, no one is blaming the pilot for the tragedy.
“What Andy did is exactly what I would expect to see… it looked exactly the way it should be done,” explained fellow pilot Neil McCarthy, who also flies a Hawker Hunter jet. “But so many things can go wrong: there can be bird strikes, engine failure, an engine fire, there could be all sorts.”
The vintage Hawker Hunter jet was built during the 1950-60s, and has long been used by the RAF. Captain Mike Vivian, the former chief flight operations inspector for the United Kingdom’s Civil Aviation Authority, stressed that British airshows are highly regulated, but he also believes “lessons can be learned and will be learned” from the English airshow crash.
“In any accident like this where there is tragedy, it’s right to review it in detail,” Vivian told the BBC.
[Image via Wikipedia]