Two World War II-era planes crashed to the ground in Texas after colliding Saturday while flying over a Dallas air show, federal authorities confirmed.
Bystander videos of the incident posted online appear to show a small fighter plane clipping a slower-flying B-17 bomber at the Commemorative Air Force Wings Over Dallas show. The collision caused an explosion as planes fell to the ground, sending plumes of black smoke billowing into the sky.
It is unknown how many people were on the aircraft, according to a Federal Aviation Administration statement. It’s also unclear if anyone on the ground was hurt.
“Currently we do not have information on the status of the flight crews as emergency responders are working the accident,” Leah Block, vice president of marketing for Commemorative Air Force, told USA TODAY in an emailed statement.
Emergency crews raced to the crash scene at the Dallas Executive Airport, about 10 miles from the city’s downtown.
Anthony Montoya saw the two planes collide.
“I just stood there. I was in complete shock and disbelief,” said Montoya, 27, who attended the air show with a friend. “Everybody around was gasping. Everybody was bursting into tears. Everybody was in shock.”
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Live TV news footage from the scene showed crumpled wreckage of the bomber in a grassy area.
The Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, a renown World War II bomber, and the Bell P-63 Kingcobra collided and crashed around 1:20 p.m. Saturday. Both aircraft flew out of Houston, according to a statement from Block.
The B-17, an immense four-engine bomber, was a cornerstone of U.S. air power during World War II. The Kingcobra, a U.S. fighter plane, was used mostly by Soviet forces during the war. Most B-17s were scrapped at the end of World War II and only a handful remain today, largely featured at museums and air shows, according to Boeing.
Wings Over Dallas bills itself as “America’s Premier World War II Airshow,” according to a website advertising the event. The show was scheduled for Nov. 11-13, Veterans Day weekend, and guests were to see more than 40 World War II-era aircraft.
The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board were launching investigations.
Contributing: The Associated Press.