More bodies may be found at scene of Shoreham Airshow plane crash

NewsBy Neil Fetherston
The jet moments before the crash
The jet moments before the crash

It is feared that more bodies may be found as investigators and emergency services continue to search the scene of the Shoreham Airshow plane crash, police said.

Seven people died when an historic Hawker Hunter fighter jet plummeted on to the A27 at Shoreham in West Sussex after failing to pull out of a loop manoeuvre.

The pilot was flown to the Royal Sussex Hospital, where he is in a critical condition and fighting for his life, Superintendent Jane Derrick, from Sussex Police, said.

He was named in reports as Andy Hill, a former RAF pilot.

A further 14 people were injured, four of whom were taken to hospital, after the jet crashed at around 1.20pm on Saturday, shortly after beginning its display in front of thousands of spectators.

Horrified onlookers described seeing the plane flying low to the ground followed by a “huge ball of fire and black smoke”.

Footage posted online showed the jet carrying out a loop manoeuvre high in the air before smashing into the road in a huge fireball after failing to pull up in time.

Supt Derrick said: “Sadly we believe that seven people have lost their lives today when the jet crashed.

“As far as we are aware all those who sadly lost their lives were on the road, and it was nobody within the air show perimeter on the actual airport.

“At this time we are continuing to search ... the area to ensure that we have identified all the casualties.

“It is possible that tonight and tomorrow we are going to find more bodies at the scene.”

Supt Derrick would not comment on earlier speculation that the dead included two cyclists, but said there were “a number of people and bikes at the scene and the officers are working through that at the moment”.

She was also unable to say whether the pilot was able to eject. One of those injured was released from hospital last night.

David Cameron sent his “heartfelt condolences” to the families of those who died in the crash.

A Downing Street spokesman said: “The Prime Minister sends his heartfelt condolences to the families of the people who were so tragically killed after a jet crashed into several vehicles in West Sussex.

“The Prime Minister’s thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of the victims.”

Today’s airshow has been cancelled as a mark of respect, organisers said.