6 dead after 2 planes collide and crash during WWII airshow in Dallas

Six people are dead following a collision that occurred at a World War II airshow in Dallas, authorities said on Sunday.


Two vintage aircraft collided in mid-air and crashed during the event Wings Over Dallas on Saturday, organizers said. The event featured flying demonstrations of WWII fighter planes at the Dallas Executive Airport.

“Authorities will continue working today on the investigation & identification of the deceased. Please pray for their families and all involved,” Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said Sunday.


A Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress and a Bell P-63 Kingcobra collided and crashed around 1:20 p.m. local time, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. It is unclear how many people were on board the bomber and fighter aircraft, it said.


The airshow, timed to coincide with Veterans Day, is organized by the Commemorative Air Force, an education association focused on American military aviation.

Leah Block, a spokesperson for Commemorative Air Force told ABC News she believes there were five crew members on the B-17 and one aboard the P-63, which is a single-seat plane. The Houston-based aircraft were not giving rides to paying customers at the time, she said.


There were no injuries to spectators or others on the ground, according to Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson.

The airport said there was an “incident” during the show and that Dallas Fire and Rescue were responding.


Bystanders captured a cloud of black smoke following the crash. Debris from the planes could also be seen littering a nearby highway.


The debris field includes the airport grounds, Highway 67 and a nearby strip mall, the mayor said.

Commemorative Air Force CEO and president Hank Coates said there will counseling available for first responders and attendees who witnessed the crash.


It’s very difficult for me to talk about it because I know all these people, these are family and they’re good friends,” he told reporters.


This was the company’s seventh airshow in Dallas and had anywhere from 4,000 to 6,000 attendees and volunteers present at the time of the crash, organizers said.


This is the first issue like this that we’ve ever had to deal with,” Coates said.


The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the collision. The NSTB is expected to arrive on-scene around 9 p.m. Saturday and will release a preliminary report, Coates said.

The NTSB is launching a go-team to investigate Saturday’s mid-air collision between a Boeing B-17G and a Bell P-63F near Dallas, Texas. Member Michael Graham will serve as spokesperson on scene. Team expected to arrive tomorrow,” the NTSB said in a statement.


Texas Gov. Greg Abbott called the incident a “tragedy” while updating on Twitter that state agencies were assisting local officials in the response.


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