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Fatalities, injuries as World War II plane crashes in the US

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Several people were killed when a World War II bomber crashed at an airport in the northeastern US state of Connecticut Wednesday, US media and officials said.

[NEW YORK] Several people were killed when a World War II bomber crashed at an airport in the northeastern US state of Connecticut Wednesday, US media and officials said.

The Boeing B-17 aircraft crashed at Bradley International Airport while trying to land around 10.00am (1400 GMT), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said in a statement.

James Rovella, a state disaster emergency official, told a news conference that there had been fatalities but that it was too early to say how many people had died.

The Hartford Courant, a local newspaper, reported that at least five people had died and nine were seriously injured in the accident, citing sources.

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A spokeswoman for the Connecticut State Police told AFP that 14 people had been involved in the accident, including ten passengers, three crew and a person on the ground.

"We received six patients, three of which were critical. We have no more information at this time," a spokesman for Hartford Hospital, situated 25km from the airport, told AFP.

It was not immediately clear what caused the crash, which occurred shortly after takeoff.

According to excerpts of a cockpit conversation reported by several media, the pilot had asked the control tower for permission to land urgently because of an engine problem.

Photos circulating on social media and carried by US media outlets showed a thick black plume of smoke billowing from the crash site.

The FAA said the plane was a civilian-registered aircraft and was not flown by the military.

It was operated by the Collings Foundation, which seeks to preserve the memory of historical events.

The airport was closed for several hours before later reopening.

 

AFP