Two World War II planes crashed in Texas after they collided Saturday while flying over an air show in Dallas, federal authorities confirmed.
Bystander videos of the incident posted online appear to show a small fighter jet clipping a slower-flying B-17 bomber during the Commemorative Air Force Wings Over Dallas show. The collision caused an explosion as planes fell to the ground, sending plumes of black smoke into the sky.
It is not known how many people were on the plane, according to a statement from the Federal Aviation Administration. It is also unclear if anyone on the ground was injured.
“We currently have no information on the status of the aircrew as emergency services are working on the accident,” Leah Block, vice president of marketing for Commemorative Air Force, told USA TODAY in an emailed statement.
Emergency services rushed to the crash site at the Dallas Executive Airport, about 10 miles from the city center.
Anthony Montoya saw the two planes collide.
“I just stood there. I was in complete shock and disbelief,” said Montoya, 27, who attended the air show with a friend. “Everyone in the neighborhood was gasping for breath. Everyone burst into tears. Everyone was in shock.”
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Live TV news footage of the scene showed the bomber’s crumpled wreckage in a grassy field.
The Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, a well-known World War II bomber, and the Bell P-63 Kingcobra collided and crashed around 1:20 p.m. Saturday. Both aircraft flew from Houston, according to a statement from Block.
The B-17, an immense four-engined bomber, was a cornerstone of the United States Air Force during World War II. The Kingcobra, an American fighter jet, was mainly used by Soviet troops during the war. Most of the B-17s were scrapped at the end of World War II, and only a handful remain today, most of which are on display in museums and air shows, according to Boeing.
Wings Over Dallas calls itself “America’s Premier World War II Airshow,” according to a website promoting the event. The show was scheduled for November 11-13, the weekend of Veterans Day, and guests would see more than 40 World War II aircraft.
The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board have begun investigations.
Contributions: The Associated Press.