Two planes collide and crash at WWII airshow in Dallas

It is not clear how many people were on board the bomber and fighter plane that collided during the Dallas, Texas airshow.

Two vintage military planes have collided in midair and crashed during an air show in the US state of Texas.

The collision on Saturday caused the planes to plummet to the ground and explode into a ball of flames, sending black smoke billowing into the sky.

It was not clear how many people were injured or killed.

The incident involved a World War II-era Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress bomber and a Bell P-63 Kingcobra fighter flying at the Wings Over Dallas Airshow at Dallas Executive Airport, according to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Emergency crews rushed to the site of the crash, airport officials said on Twitter, but it was unclear how many people were on board the two aircraft, the FAA said.

Hank Coates, the president and CEO of the Commemorative Air Force (CAF), a group dedicated to the preservation of World War Two combat aircraft, told a news conference the B-17 typically has a crew of four to five people.

The P-63 is crewed by a single pilot, Coates added, but would not say how many people were on board the aircraft at the time of the crash, nor their name or condition.

News footage from the scene showed crumpled wreckage of the planes in a grassy area inside the airport perimeter.

Dallas Fire-Rescue told The Dallas Morning News that there were no reported injuries among people on the ground.

Anthony Montoya saw the two planes collide.

“I just stood there. I was in complete shock and disbelief,” said Montoya, 27, who attended the air show with a friend. “Everybody around was gasping. Everybody was bursting into tears. Everybody was in shock.”

Investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board will arrive at the scene of the crash in Dallas on Sunday.

Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson said the NTSB had taken control of the crash scene, with local police and fire providing support.

“The videos are heartbreaking,” Johnson said.

Video clips posted on social media captured the incident as it unfolded, showing the fighter plane appearing to fly into the bomber, causing them to quickly crash to the ground and setting off a large ball of fire and smoke.

“It was really horrific to see,” Aubrey Anne Young, 37, of Leander. Texas, who saw the crash. Her children were inside the hangar with their father when it occurred. “I’m still trying to make sense of it.”

Air show safety — particularly with older military aircraft — has been a concern for years. In 2011, 11 people were killed in Reno, Nevada, when a P-51 Mustang crashed into spectators. In 2019, a bomber crashed in Hartford, Connecticut, killing seven people.

The NTSB said then that it had investigated 21 accidents since 1982 involving World War II-era bombers, resulting in 23 deaths.

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA

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