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Sunday, August 23, 2015, 11:29

7 killed in aircraft crash in south Britain

By Xinhua
7 killed in aircraft crash in south Britain
Police and members of the emergency services work at the scene of a plane crash at Shoreham airfair in Shoreham by Sea on August 22, 2015. A Hawker Hunter jet from the 1950's crashed into a main road by the airfield while attempting a loop manoeuvre. (AFP PHOTO / SEAN HAWKEY)

LONDON - An aircraft crashed in an airshow in west Sussex, southeastern Britain on Saturday, leaving seven people dead and several injured, local police confirmed.

The incident occurred at around 1:20 pm local time (1220 GMT), said Sussex Police, adding that the aircraft hit several cars on a busy main road, north of Shoreham Airport, where an air display is holding.

The aircraft involved in the accident was a Hawker Hunter single-seat fighter jet, a mainstay of the Royal Air Force through the 1950s and early 1960s.

"Emergency services have declared a major incident and a number of helicopters have been deployed to the scene to evacuate casualties to hospital," said Sussex Police.

South East Coast Ambulance Service confirmed that seven people were killed at the scene, one person who has been sent to Royal Sussex County Hospital is suffering life-threatening injuries. Other 14 patients were treated for minor injuries, it said.

"The casualties are all believed to have occurred on the road at this time and there are not thought to be any injuries to anyone actually on the airfield," the police said.

Local fire department, rescue service and the Air Accident Investigation Bureau have attended the scene to rescue and investigate.

Local media reported that witness said the plane was attempting a loop manoeuvre but failed to pull out. Fire, thick and black smoke have been seen according to photos posted on the Internet. Acrid smell has also been scented nearby the site.

"There has been a major incident outside the airfield boundary. The emergency services are responding," said Shoreham Airshow on its Twitter account.

The road has been closed and drivers have been advised to avoid the area.

Another incident took place at the Shoreham Airshow in September 2007. Brian Brown, a stuntman of James Bond was killed after an aircraft crashed.

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