November 13 (Reuters) – Six people have died after two vintage military planes collided mid-air on Saturday and crashed in flames in front of a crowd of thousands who came to watch them fly at a memorial air show in World War II in Dallas, officials said Sunday.
No one in the crowd of 4,000 spectators was injured and no names of the victims were released.
“Authorities will continue to work today on the investigation and identification of the deceased,” said Texas County Chief Justice Clay Jenkins. “Please pray for their families and everyone involved.”
The crash involved World War II planes – a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress bomber and a Bell P-63 Kingcobra fighter – flying at the Wings Over Dallas airshow at Dallas Executive Airport, Federal Aviation said. Administration (FAA) in a declaration.
Hank Coates, president and CEO of Commemorative Air Force, a group dedicated to preserving World War II fighter jets, said the B-17, a huge four-engined bomber, normally has a crew of four. to five people.
The P-63 is a single-pilot US fighter jet, Coates added, but he would not say how many people were on the plane at the time of the crash.
Leah Block, spokeswoman for the Commemorative Air Force, which is dedicated to preserving World War II aircraft and hosts the air show, told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that they don’t know why the crash happened. was produced. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) officials opened an investigation on Sunday.
Video clips posted to social media showed the two planes colliding and crashing to the ground, engulfed by a ball of fire and a cloud of black smoke as a scattered cloud of shrapnel fell on a plot of scorched earth.
Previous deadly air show disasters have occurred due to both pilot failures and mechanical failures.
Eleven people were killed and 74 people injured in Reno, Nevada, during a 2011 air show when a P-51 Mustang crashed into spectators, due to mechanical failure, the NTSB has found. . In 2019, a B-17 bomber crashed in Hartford, Connecticut, killing seven people due to pilot error and improper maintenance, the agency also found.
Reporting by Rich McKay in Atlanta; Editing by Lisa Shumaker
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