Two WWII-era American planes collide and crash at a memorial parade in Dallas
- George Wright
- BBC News
Two old World War II planes collided in mid-air during an air show in Texas, crashing and killing at least two people.
A video clip showed the two planes colliding at low altitude, causing one of them to break in half in what appeared to be a fireball hitting the ground.
The two planes — one a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress — were taking part in a commemorative air show near Dallas.
The number of people on board the aircraft was unknown at the time of the accident. But the US Civilian Pilots Association said its former members Terry Parker and Lyn Root were killed in the crash.
Other reports released by local media suggest around six people were killed in the collision.
Eyewitness Chris Kratoville, who was among the 4,000 to 6,000 people who attended last Saturday’s Winger Over Dallas air show, told the BBC he had never seen “such a calm and composed audience in the blink of an eye”.
He added, “It went from the height of excitement and activity to complete stillness and utter stillness as many, including myself, began taking their children away because of the presence of burning plane wreckage in the middle of the airport.”
The Federal Aviation Administration said it had launched an investigation into the crash during the air show as part of a three-day event that organizers dubbed the first U.S. air show of World War II in honor of Veterans Day.
Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson said it was a “tragic tragedy” and tweeted, “The videos show heartbreaking things.
The number of victims of the accident has not yet been determined, said Johnson, who confirmed that there were no injuries on the airport site.
The air show’s website said many planes should have taken part in an airlift last Saturday.
The Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress is said to have played an important role in the US victory over Germany in World War II.
The other plane that went down in the crash was a P-63 Kingcobra, which also saw action in World War II but only saw service in the former Soviet Air Force in that war.
The B-17’s crew ranges from four to five people, while only one pilot can fly the P-63, according to Hank Coates of the Air Force Memorial Association, which organizes the air show, but he didn’t comment on the number of casualties.
“This is an airborne demonstration of operations during WWII where we focused on aircraft and their capabilities,” Coates said.
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