Death toll from Shoreham air crash in the UK at the weekend could rise to 20

NewsBy Neil Fetherston
Death toll from Shoreham air crash in the UK at the weekend could rise to 20

It is feared that the final death toll from the horrific Shoreham air crash in the UK at the weekend could rise to 20.

Already it has been confirmed that eleven people were when a Hawker Hunter jet plummeted on to a motorway after it failed to pull out of a loop manoeuvre during an aerial display.

However, Sussex Police assistant chief constable Steve Barry said the number of dead could rise.

He said: "To give people a sense of scale and also the number of people we are trying to work with in terms of the movements of their loved ones, then I would be really surprised if it would be more than 20."

He added: "Today there is a plan for a crane to come and the plan is for the plane to be moved and then for the recovery to continue.

"The plane needs to be made safe. There are issues around fuel in the aircraft still and there is an issue around making sure the ejector seat is still safe.

"Hopefully the aircraft will be moved today. What that will uncover in terms of further recovery work is unknown and it's possible that once the aircraft is moved that we will discover more fatalities.

"Once the aircraft is moved then the forensic examination of the scene continues and even then, once that's clear, the highway will need major repairs, so it could be days rather than hours before the A27 is opened."

Worthing United footballers Matthew Grimstone and Jacob Schilt, both 23, who were on their way to play in a match, and personal trainer Matt Jones, 24, have been confirmed as among the dead.

Andrew Hill, the pilot of the crashed jet, has been put in a medically-induced coma.

His family said he remained in a critical condition in hospital and they were "devastated and deeply saddened for the loss of life".

They also sent "prayers and heartfelt condolences to the families of all those affected" and praised emergency services for their response to the crash.

The organisers of Shoreham Airshow defended the event's safety record as aviation regulator the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), said it was considering whether air show safety requirements should change.

"Pilots and aircraft must meet rigorous safety requirements," which are regularly reviewed to ensure the "highest possible levels of protection," RAFA said.