23 Aug 2015

11 people ‘highly likely’ to have died in Shoreham air crash

Police warn that death toll is likely to rise as ‘highly technical’ recovery operation will carry on for days to come

Police have confirmed that 11 people are ‘highly likely’ to have died in the West Sussex airshow crash.

Specialist recovery teams, made up of ‘dozens’ of specially trained officers, are on the scene recovering bodies and investigating the crash.

Officers said that bodies will continue to be removed throughout the day and tomorrow.

Fears over remaining fuel on the plane and the condition of the ejector seat mechanism mean that a no-fly zone remains around the site, officers said.

However police said that there was no risk to the local community outside of the established cordon. The stretch of the A27 near to the crash will remain closed for “days”.

Previously seven people were thought to have died in the crash, however police now say this is likely to rise to at least 11.

Sussex Police Assistant Chief Constable Steve Barry added they could not yet formally identify any of those who had died even if they had been named elsewhere.

Police said that no one who had been attending the airshow had been hurt in the accident.

Two footballers and a personal trainer have so far been identified as victims of the crash with more bodies expected to be identified.

Worthing United footballer Matthew Grimstone, 23, and Jacob Schilt were on their way to play in a match against Loxwood FC when they were caught in the crash.

Matt Jones, 24, was named on Facebook by his sister Becky Jones as one of the dead. She said her family were “devastated” by the loss.

The pilot of the plane remains in a critical condition in a Sussex hospital.