Police: 11 ‘highly likely to be dead’ after military jet crashes at air show

Posted at 10:46 PM, Aug 23, 2015
and last updated 2015-08-23 22:52:23-04

A day after a relic military jet plunged from the sky and crashed onto a busy UK highway, authorities searched Sunday for more possible victims.

Sussex police announced at a press conference that they have the names of 11 people whom they are treating as "highly likely" to be dead. The identification process was a "technical" one that requires the help of the victims' next of kin. Earlier, they said seven people had been killed.

The police added that they are keeping an open mind about the possibility of additional fatalities.

A crane will be brought in to haul away the wreckage from the site on Monday.

The Cold War-era Hawker Hunter jet crashed during an air show in southeastern England.

All of those killed were on the busy A27 highway, which runs next to the Shoreham airport in Sussex, police Superintendent Jane Derrick said.

At least 14 other people were injured.

The pilot was pulled from the wreckage and was airlifted to the Royal Sussex County Hospital, where he remained critically injured, Derrick said.

"It is possible that there are still bodies at the scene, and it is important that our search is professional and thorough," Derrick told reporters.

The jet was flying a loop at the Shoreham Airshow when it nosedived Saturday. The highway will remain closed as the search for possible other victims continues.

The show featured vintage military aircraft and was put on by the Royal Air Forces Association.

Shoreham Airshow organizers said the Sunday session of the show had been canceled following the accident.

Authorities asked anybody with still or video images of the crash to contact them.

"Sussex Police and the Air Accidents Investigation Branch have asked that anyone with photographs or video footage that may help with their investigations should send their contact details to," the airshow organizers said. "Do not send files, just contact details and information about the material you have."

About 2,000 Hawker Hunter single-seat jets were built in the 1950s in England, the Netherlands and Belgium, according to IHS Jane's Defence Industry. The plane is about 46 to 49 feet long, depending on the model, with a wingspan of 33 feet 8 inches.