Washington: Two vintage World War Two-era planes collided in mid-air during an air show in Dallas, south central US state Texas.
Videos on Twitter showed that following the collision on Saturday, the two aircraft rapidly descended, causing a large fire and plumes of black smoke to billow into the sky.
Terrible situation. Two planes collide during an Air Show at Dallas Executive Airport 😳😔👀 pic.twitter.com/thokohgJzw
— Daily Loud (@DailyLoud) November 12, 2022
“A Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress and a Bell P-63 Kingcobra collided and crashed at the Wings Over Dallas Airshow at Dallas Executive Airport in Texas around 1:20 pm local time on Saturday,” said the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in statement, noting that “at this time, it is unknown how many people were on both aircraft.”
The Dallas Fire-Rescue Department tweeted that the number of casualties are not yet confirmed, but no people on the ground were reported injured.
However, the Allied Pilots Association, the labor union representing American Airlines pilots, identified two pilot retirees and former union members among those killed in the collision, reports CNN.
Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson tweeted, later on Saturday, no spectators or others on the ground were reported injured, although the debris field from the collision includes the Dallas Executive Airport grounds, Highway 67, and a nearby strip mall.
The event, which was scheduled to run through Sunday, has been canceled, according to the organizer’s website.
Johnson said in a tweet after the crash, “As many of you have now seen, we have had a terrible tragedy in our city today during an airshow. Many details remain unknown or unconfirmed at this time.”
As many of you have now seen, we have had a terrible tragedy in our city today during an airshow. Many details remain unknown or unconfirmed at this time. The @NTSB has taken command of the crash scene with @DallasPD and @DallasFireRes_q continuing to provide support.
— Mayor Eric Johnson (@Johnson4Dallas) November 12, 2022
“The videos are heartbreaking. Please, say a prayer for the souls who took to the sky to entertain and educate our families today,” Johnson said in a separate tweet.
The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board will lead the investigation.
About the planes
The B-17 bomber played a major role in winning the air war against Germany in WW2.
The second plane, a P-63 Kingcobra, was a fighter aircraft used in the same war, but used in combat only by the Soviet Air Force.
The B-17 usually has a crew of about four to five people, while the P-63 has a single pilot, said Hank Coats, from the Commemorative Air Force which organised the event – but he could not confirm any fatalities.