Seven people confirmed dead after airshow crash

Tragedy: Smoke billows from the crash site
Tragedy: Smoke billows from the crash site

Several casualties have been reported after a plane crashed onto a busy road as it took part in an airshow in Shoreham-By Sea, West Sussex.

Update: 16.50

Seven people have been killed in the incident, according to the BBC.

The 1950’s era Hawker Hunter hit several cars on the A27 shortly after 1.20pm.

It is understood that the pilot managed to escape before the crash but there are fears for other people on the ground.

Laura Raymond from Splash FM was watching and commentating the display and said: “Within seconds we were thinking ‘gosh that plane was going rather low’.

“There was a ball of fire, we didn’t even hear an impact - and then plumes of black smoke. It’s being described by the commentator as a tragic incident.”

She said around 20,000 people were at the show and were now “in hushed silence”, adding that the planes don’t fly over crowds “but obviously everyone’s in shock”.

Airshow officials confirmed there had been “a major incident outside the airfield boundary”, tweeting that emergency services are responding.

A spokesman for Sussex Police said they were “aware” of the crash and were “dealing” with it and an Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) spokesman said a team would be deployed to look into what had happened.

The Hawker Hunter was introduced in the 1950s and retired from military service in 2014.