The B-17 plane is one of five reportedly at Bradley International Airport for tours and flights this week

By Char Adams
October 02, 2019 11:36 AM
Flames and plume of smoke after Collings Foundation World War II aircraft crashes at Bradley International Airport
IAFF Local S15/Twitter

Multiple people are dead and 14 are injured after a vintage World War II-era plane crashed at a small Connecticut airport and erupted in flames, reports say.

State troopers and firefighters were on the scene around 10 a.m. after the aircraft slid off the runway while landing at Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, WVIT reported.

“There were fatalities,” State Police Commissioner James Rovella told reporters, according to NBC News. “Victims are very difficult to identify, we don’t want to make a mistake.”

A spokesperson for Connecticut State Police tells PEOPLE that 14 people were injured in the crash, including 13 on board the plane and one person on the ground. The person on the ground was a civilian in a maintenance facility, according to CNN.

Officials have not confirmed the number of fatalities, but the Hartford Courant reported that at least two people are dead.

“We can confirm that there was an accident involving a Collings Foundation World War II aircraft this morning at Bradley Airport,” airport officials tweeted. “We have an active fire and rescue operation underway. The airport is closed. We will issue further updates as information becomes available.”

Photos and videos shared on social media showed a large plume of smoke and flames where the plane crashed.  The Federal Aviation Administration said the B-17 plane is a “civilian registered aircraft” and is not flown by the military.

At least two dozen emergency vehicles were on the scene and several fire departments were in the area, the Courant reported. The aircraft is one of five vintage planes at the airport this week for tours and flights, according to the Courant. There are two WWII fighter planes and three bombers.

Authorities are working to reunite loved ones with the crash victims.

“Any IMMEDIATE family members only looking for information on the plane crash at Bradley International Airport call the CSP Message Center 860-685-8190,” state police tweeted.

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The International Association of Fire Fighters Local S15, which represents nearby first responders, shared a photo of the fire and smoke-filled scene on Twitter.

“Our crews are operating at an aircraft crash at Bradley airport,” officials wrote.

The FAA has barred flights headed to the airport, the administration said in a tweet.

Both the Windsor Locks Fire Department and Connecticut State Police at Bradley Airport declined to comment on the matter.

This story is developing.

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