Sept 17 - A vintage fighter plane crashes near the grandstand at the Reno Air Races in Nevada, leaving several people dead and injuring at least 54. Marie-Claire Fennessy reports.
A vintage fighter plane has crashed near the grandstand at a Nevada air race. At least two people were killed, including the elderly pilot. Over 50 people have been injured, 15 are said to be in a critical condition. Seventy-four-year-old pilot, Jimmy Leeward was flying a P-51 Mustang called the "Galloping Ghost" when it crashed into a box seat area. (SOUNDBITE) (English) UNIDENTIFIED EYEWITNESS SAYING: "He was coming up toward the grandstands and all of a sudden, I heard a pop, a little pop and the airplane just went straight up. There was a bit of a flutter and it went straight up and kind of rolled over a little bit, then nosed over and went straight down." The crash is now considered a mass casualty situation. Head of the Reno Air Racing Association could not confirm the number who had died. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MIKE HOUGHTON, PRESIDENT AND CEO OF THE RENO AIR RACING ASSOCIATION, SAYING: "I will say that we have a total of 54 that have injuries, they've all been transported. The hospitals are providing some information as they see fit. But of those numbers, those are just the ones that are injured and were transported. We do not have a final count as far as the number of deceased. The Reno Air Race features planes facing races at an airfield north of the city. This crash was the latest in a spate of fatal air show accidents since August. Marie-Claire Fennessy, Reuters