A military jet taking part in a British airshow crashed into a busy main road, killing seven people and injuring more than a dozen others, police said today.
The Hawker Hunter fighter jet, which was participating in the Shoreham Airshow near Brighton in southern England, hit several vehicles on the road as it crashed this afternoon. Witnesses told local TV that the jet appeared to have crashed when it failed to pull out of a loop maneuver.
West Sussex Police said seven died and one patient with life-threatening injuries was taken to the hospital. A further 14 people were treated for minor injuries. A witness, Stephen Jones, told the BBC that the pilot had just begun his display.
“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,” Jones said.
The force said all the casualties were believed to have occurred on the road, and no one on the airfield was believed injured.
News reports carried video and photographs of a fireball erupting near trees and huge plumes of thick black smoke rising.
The road was closed in both directions today.