Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Connecticut, is the scene of a fatal fiery plane crash that occurred on the morning of October 2. At least seven people were killed and seven others were injured, the Hartford Courant reports. There were 13 people on board at the time of the crash. The exact number of those killed has not been confirmed by authorities. One of those who was injured was on the ground at the time of the crash.
The Connecticut Police and Fire Union tweeted that crews were battling the blaze created by the crash around 10 a.m. The airport is located 15 miles north of Hartford.
Several victims were taken to Hartford Hospital, both by ambulance and by medical helicopter. The Courant reports that authorities fear the number of victims killed in the crash will rise. Officials said that due to the ferocity of the fire, it took first responders “hours” to reach the cockpit, where the pilot and co-pilot were seated.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The Airport Was Closed in the Aftermath of the Crash
The airport said in a statement, “We can confirm that there was an accident involving a Collings Foundation World War II aircraft this morning at Bradley Airport. We have an active fire and rescue operation underway. The airport is closed. We will issue further updates as information becomes available.” According to the airport’s website, multiple flights both arriving and departing are delayed. Lifestar has been called to the scene.
Air traffic was redirected to TF Green Airport in Rhode Island. One passenger tweeted that a pilot told their flight that the airport is expected to be closed for up to 2.5 hours following the crash. The airport reopened at around 1:30 p.m. local time.
2. The Plane Crashed Into a Shed as it Was Coming into Land
The Hartford Courant reports that there are “multiple injuries” as a result of the crash. The Courant report says that the plane crashed into a shed that is used for de-icing aircraft as it was coming into land. Officials said in a press conference that the blaze, which could be seen for miles around, was fueled by the airplane’s gasoline.
A witness, Antonio Arreguin, told the Associated Press of his view saying, “In front of me, I see this big ball of orange fire, and I knew something happened. The ball of fire was very big.”
3. The Pilot Asked the Tower for Permission to Land, 5 Minutes After Taking Off
Records show that the plane was cleared to take-off from Bradley Airport at 9:45 a.m. local time from Runway 6. At 9:50 a.m., the pilot contacted the tower for permission to land on Runway 6 which was approved. The plane crashed shortly afterward. During the landing, the plane crashed after sliding off of the runway.
4. The Plane Is Civilian Registered
The Hartford Courant’s David Owens reports that the plane involved in the crash is thought to be a Collings Foundation World War II B-17G bomber, also known as the Flying Fortress. The plane is civilian registered in Stow, Massachusetts, and is not flown by the military.
5. The Plane Was Part of the Wings of Freedom Tour 2019 That Charged $450 for a Ride on the B-17
Bradley International Airport was being featured on the Collings Foundation’s Wings of Freedom Tour 2019, between September 30 and October 3. For $450 per person, guests can fly onboard the B-17. The show also offered flights on the B-24 and B-25 planes. The B-17 plane was one of five aircrafts on display.