Shoreham air show plane crash: 'It was like a war zone' say witnesses following accident

'Several casualties' have been confirmed by Sussex Police

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The Independent Online

Witnesses have described the scenes at a Sussex air show as being “like a war zone” after an aircraft crashed during a performance in front of hundreds of people. 

The Hawker Hunter aircraft crashed onto the A27 outside Brighton at around 1.20pm on Saturday, hitting several cars as it came down, according to a statement from Sussex Police.

Hundreds of people, gathered to enjoy the annual Royal Air Forces Association air show, witnessed the crash.

Tony Wallace, 48 from Shoreham, watched the crash from nearby Mill Hill with his friends and two children.

“The Hunter came from the airport and flew over us and did and loop the loop to go back around to the airport, but at the bottom of the loop it just seemed to lose power and went into the ground belly down in a massive ball of flames,” he told The Independent.

The aftermath of the accident

Mr Wallace claimed he watched the plane go down on the A27 near Brighton’s airport, where the show was being held, and added that the road had been “chockablock” all day.

“There’s still plume of smoke, fire engines and a car covered in foam. It looks like a war zone.

“There are around 200 people watching it here and there was a gasp of horror. If the pilot ejected, we didn’t see it,” he said.

Smoke is seen following a crash involving a plane near Shoreham Airshow in West Sussex

Officers have warned motorists to avoid the nearby area, and confirmed the A27 has been closed in both directions. Pictures on social media showed huge plumes of smoke across the motorway.

Stephen Jones, who was watching the Hawker Hunter T mark 7 display, said the accident occurred at the beginning of the display. "He'd gone up into a loop and as he was coming out of the loop I just thought, you're too low, you're too low, pull up," he told the BBC.

"And he flew straight into the ground either on or very close to the A27, which runs past the airport."

Rhys-Christian, Mobsy, 24, heard a “massive impact” from the garden of his friend’s house just 500m from the impact site near the A27.


“We tried to get close but you couldn’t get close as there was fire and cars everywhere. It looks really bad.”