Shoreham Airshow: Medic at scene of crash says he saw shocked members of public who were filming on mobile phones

'At this scene there were bystanders moving around taking videos as we rushed to attend to the pilot'

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The Independent Online

The first medic at the scene of the Shoreham Airshow disaster has described how he saw shocked members of the public filming the debris as he tried to reach the stricken pilot.

Tony Kemp, a senior nurse and medical lecturer who was volunteering with the British Red Cross on Saturday, told The Independent that many would rightly see it as “quite grotesque” that members of the public filmed “the very disturbing scene” and post the footage on social media.

He said that they, too, were victims, having witnessed appalling scenes but added: “Sadly it’s a modern curse at accidents that we see members of the public reach for their mobile phones.

“At this scene there were bystanders moving around taking videos as we rushed to attend to the pilot. I was aware of three or four close by behind a wall looking in.”

Mr Kemp said it wasn't uncommon for bystanders to stand a stare at accident scenes, but that in recent years filming incidents on mobile phones was increasingly common, especially at accidents on motorways.

On Saturday Mr Kemp was joined by two off-duty GPs and an air ambulance crew as he responded to the still-burning aircraft after reports from the fire service that pilot Andy Hill was still alive. He said those that recorded videos were “also victims” who were in “shock” but that they “needed to think very carefully about the ramifications of sharing them”. Police have appealed to the public to “think twice” about posting graphic footage from the crash online.

 

Mr Kemp’s comments came as police said the recovery of remains was almost complete.

Sussex Police Chief Constable Giles York laid flowers at the scene yesterday and said 20 family liaison offers were working with families of the dead, while his officers dealt with reports from 200 people with concerns for missing relatives or friends: “It very difficult to finalise numbers. We think it is highly likely that 11 people have been killed.”

The British Red Cross has opened a support line for people affected by the accident, as relatives of Daniele Polito and Mark Trussler, who have been named as missing, made appeals to trace them.

read more: Jet crash is latest in series of UK aerial display incidents

Police said the intensity of the fire caused by aviation fuel had required them to bring in forensic archaeologists to recover remains. It also emerged yesterday a father and his young son narrowly avoided death after wedding limousine driver Maurice Abraham courteously let their car go ahead of his in the moments before the fatal crash. Survivor Michael Sturgess told the BBC: “I had come on to the A27, and then he let me in because the traffic was so bad. We went through the traffic lights, the traffic lights went red and that’s when he got hit.”

Mr Sturgess said his eight year-old son Louis watched in horror as the plane crashed on to the busy road and exploded into flames.

He said: "My little boy saw it all happen... as I went around the bend the plane came down and he saw everything - my eight year-old Louis, my little boy."

Mr Sturgess said he felt "very sad" at what happened, and lucky to be alive.

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This article was updated to reflect clarifications by Tony Kemp

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