5 Dead After World War II-Era Bomber Crashes In Fireball After Attempted Landing

Associated Press
October 02, 2019 - 10:17 am
In this photo provided by Antonio Arreguin, smoke fills the sky after a World War II-era bomber plane crashed, Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019 outside Bradley International Airport north of Hartford, Conn.

(Antonio Arreguin via AP)

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WINDSOR LOCKS, Conn. (AP) —  A Connecticut state official says at least five people have died in the crash of a World War II-era airplane.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the investigation.

The B-17 carrying 13 people crashed Wednesday at Bradley International Airport as it was attempting to make an emergency landing soon after takeoff.

A fire with black smoke rose from near the airport as emergency crews responded. The airport said in a message on Twitter that it has closed.

The Federal Aviation Administration said on Twitter that the B-17 had been trying to land. It was civilian-registered and not flown by the military, the FAA said.

Airport officials said the plane was associated with the Collings Foundation, an educational group that brought its “Wings of Freedom” vintage aircraft display to Bradley International Airport this week.

A representative of the group could not immediately confirm any information about the crash but said it would issue a statement.

Antonio Arreguin said he had parked at a construction site near the airport for breakfast when he heard an explosion. He said he did not see the plane but could feel the heat from the fire, which was about 250 yards away.

“In front of me, I see this big ball of orange fire, and I knew something happened,” he said. “The ball of fire was very big.”

A smaller explosion followed about a minute after the first blast, he said. He saw emergency crews scrambling within seconds.