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11 people thought to have been killed in West Sussex plane crash

Seven people were killed and at least 14 injured when the aircraft crashed onto a motorway.

Updated 4.50pm

Source: IIM-10838

A TOTAL OF 11 people are likely to have died in a plane crash in West Sussex yesterday, police have said.

Seven deaths had already been confirmed after the Hawker Hunter, a type of jet first developed in the 1950s, failed to pull out of a loop and crashed into traffic next to the Shoreham air show near Brighton.

The accident created a fireball which sent clouds of thick, black smoke billowing into the sky, while photographs of the aftermath showed charred vehicles caught up in the crash.

At a press conference today, Steve Barry, second in command of the local Sussex Police, described what had happened as “an enormously traumatic incident”.

“We have now identified 11 people who we are treating as highly likely to have died in this tragedy,” Barry said, adding that the death toll could rise again.

Police and accident investigators are still at the scene of the crash sifting through charred wreckage. BBC reports police have received about 40 calls from people concerned their relatives may have died or been injured in the crash.

The pilot of the Hawker Hunter, who works for British Airways, is in hospital in a critical condition. It is unclear whether he had ejected from the plane.

Three of the people who lost their lives in the crash have been names as footballers Matthew Grimstone and JAcob Schilt and personal trainer Matt Jones, The Telegraph reports. The footballers were on their way to a match when they were caught up in the incident.

Shoreham Airshow crash Flowers laid at the footbridge that connects the Airshow car park, as a tribute for those who lost their lives yesterday. Source: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA

Fourteen people sustained minor injuries, four of whom were taken to hospital.

Footage of the crash showed the jet attempting to perform a loop manoeuvre high in the air. The plane banked up steeply, turned over but did not complete the loop in time to avoid hitting the ground.

Pictures from the scene showed police had cordoned off the four-lane dual carriageway road, with ambulances, fire crews and emergency service helicopters in attendance. Debris was visible across the road.

 ’Not going to make this’ 

Source: Dan Tube/YouTube

Eyewitness Chris Watkins told the BBC: “The Hunter came across the airfield, did a turn behind us and as it swooped down to do its run across the airfield it just ploughed straight in to the road and the trees.”

Stephen Jones, another witness, added: “He made a quick pass along the crowd line and pulled up into a loop and as he came out of it, I thought, ‘this is wrong, you’re too low, you’re not going to make this’.

“He just disappeared behind some low trees at the edge of the airfield and then there was a huge explosion.”

Gairo Gomez, who works nearby, said the whole building he was in shook.

“I saw the plane going down,” he added. “I heard a huge bang and the glass was shaking and the doors were banging, the whole building was shaking.”

- © AFP 2015 with reporting by Michelle Hennessy.

Related: Seven people confirmed dead after plane crashed onto motorway>

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