Two World War II-era planes collided midair at a Second World War commemorative airshow in Texas’ Dallas killing at least six people on Saturday.
A Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress bomber and a Bell P-63 Kingcobra fighter collided and crashed at the Wings Over Dallas Airshow at Dallas Executive Airport at 1:20 p.m. CST (1820 GMT), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said in a statement.
Emergency crews were responding to the crash, airport officials said on Twitter. The show is described as the nation’s premiere World War Two airshow.
Two people were found dead in one wreckage, and one person in the other, the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office said. Though officials have not confirmed casualties, reports claimed that at least six people were feared dead.
Video clips posted on social media showed the bigger B-17 bomber flying, not very high from the ground in a straight line, while the smaller plane - Kingcobra, hurtling in its direction from the left. It wasn’t clear what led to the crash between the two planes.
The smaller plane is seen crashing on top of the B-17, a World War II-era plane, and immediately the two aircraft break apart into pieces, engulfed by flames. Nearby residents who heard the crash and rushed outside.
The visuals of the crash were widely circulated on social media with people expressing grief over the tragedy.
pic.twitter.com/peyMeEMA25— Giancarlo (@GianKaizen) November 12, 2022
Both the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) have launched investigations, with the latter taking the lead and providing updates, officials said.
One of the planes crashed in a field, the other in a stand of trees, near Vance Brand Airport in Longmont, Colorado, about 30 miles (50 kilometers) north of Denver. Two people were found dead in one wreckage, and one person in the other, the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office said.
“As many of you have now seen, we have had a terrible tragedy in our city today during an airshow. Many details remain unknown or unconfirmed at this time. The National Transportation Safety Board has taken command of the crash scene with Dallas Police Department and Dallas Fire-Rescue continuing to provide support," Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson said in a tweet.
The B-17, a four-engined bomber, played a significant role in winning the air war against Germany in the Second World War. It became one of the most produced bombers ever.
The P-63 Kingcobra was a fighter aircraft developed during the same period by Bell Aircraft but used in combat only by the Soviet Air Force.
(With inputs from agencies)
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