The death toll from Saturday’s plane crash at the Shoreham air show will likely increase when the jet’s wreckage is removed, police reportedly said Monday. At least 11 people died after the plane plummeted onto a busy road near the air show at Shoreham-by-Sea, a town in southeastern England.
A crane is reportedly due to arrive at the scene on the A27 in West Sussex to remove the wreckage of the vintage Hawker Hunter fighter jet. Authorities reportedly said that removing the wreckage is a "delicate" operation as the jet still contained fuel. The pilot, Andy Hill, is in a critical condition at a hospital, Assistant Chief Constable Steve Barry reportedly said at a press conference. Rescuers had pulled him from the burning wreckage.
It is "quite possible" that there are still more bodies in the wreckage, Barry said, adding: "This is an enormously traumatic incident." He also said that the recovery process is complex because of “the scale of devastation.”
"The scene itself is incredibly large," Barry said, according to BBC. "But from what we have seen it is possible that we will find more fatalities."
The U.K.'s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said it will investigate the incident to determine the cause of the crash that could further help authorities decide whether improvements in current safety requirements are needed.
"We immediately commenced our review processes and remain committed to continuously enhancing the safety of all civil aviation and will provide further updates in the days to come,” CAA reportedly wrote in a statement.
Some of the victims of Saturday's accident have been named by their families while others are yet to be identified. Worthing United footballers Matt Jones, 24, and Matthew Grimstone, 23, were among the dead, their families reportedly confirmed. Another footballer, Jacob Schilt, 23, who also played for Worthing, was among the victims, BBC reported, citing the club.
Local police and the British government's Air Accidents Investigation Branch, which launched a probe into the crash, have reportedly urged the public to provide footage of the accident to help the investigators. The jet was reportedly attempting a loop maneuver when it crashed and exploded into a fireball.