The scene at the A27 following the accident
The scene at the A27 following the accident Richard Blackmore

11 dead in UK airshow horror as plane crashes into road

ELEVEN people are "highly likely to have died" in the Shoreham Airshow crash, Sussex Police say.

The death toll has risen from the original number of seven as investigators examine the crash site.

Assistant Chief Constable Steve Barry said it is "quite possible" that there are still more bodies to be found in the wreckage.

"This is an enormously traumatic incident," he said.

Speaking at a press conference, he added that the pilot, Andy Hill, who was amazingly "recovered alive from the wreckage", remains in a critical condition in hospital.

His plane, a Hawker Hunter fighter jet, which was developed in the 1950s, is due to be lifted out of the crash site tomorrow by plane.

Specialist recovery teams have now begun to move bodies away from the scene of the crash. Sussex Police said there is "every possibility that other victims will be found" in the process.

There is still an exclusion zone around the crash site for now, as the fuel still inside the plane poses a risk.

Barry said the crash site covers an "extremely large area", and said the investigation is a "very, very significant operation, the likes of which I have never seen before."

He also said that police cannot yet say whether or not pilot Andy Hill managed to eject from the plane before the crash.

The first three victims of the incident have been named - 24-year-old personal trainer Matt Jones and Worthing United FC footballers Jacob Schilt and Matthew Grimstone, who were on their way to play in a match, were all killed in the crash.

Mr Jones' family initially received mistaken reports from friends that he had been seen after the crash. His sister Becky Jones said she was "devastated" that he had been killed.

She described her brother as the "best uncle" who loved her daughters dearly.

Writing on Facebook, she said: "We have been overwhelmed with hundreds of messages, I can't possibly reply to everyone so thank you."

"We are just in absolute shock still and devastated that this has happened to us. We love Matt more than anything, he was the best son, brother and uncle to my girls, words can't describe what we are all going through. "Thank you everyone who has tried to help."

Hazel, Matt Jones' mother, described him as a "absolute diamond."

"Matt was my boy, a lovely boy."

Paul Barber, chief executive of Brighton & Hove Albion FC, where Mr Grimstone worked as a groundsman, said: "It is hard to the find the right words to express the full extent of our shock and sadness at this time, but Matt and Jacob's family and friends are very much in our thoughts - along with all those who've been affected by this terrible tragedy."

Mark Sanderson, the vice chairman of Mr Grimstone and Mr Schilt's club, said everyone at small Worthing United FC were "struggling to cope" with their sudden deaths.

The 14 people who were injured in the incident have all now been released from hospital.

The crash occurred when a 1950s Hawker Hunter fighter jet, flying in a display as part of Shoreham Airshow, crashed into the busy dual carriageway, erupting in a huge fireball.

The pilot, Andy Hill, was a former RAF pilot and British Airways captain and was described as the "best of the best" by another pilot who flew at the airshow before the crash.

Police have warned that more people could be confirmed as dead as investigations continue.

At the press conference, Assistant Chief Constable Barry said that Sussex Police are still getting calls from people concerned about their loved ones.

Motorcyclist Mark Trussler has been missing since the crash, and his fiancée Giovanna Chirico has reported him missing to the police and has been posting pictures of him on social media in the hope that he will be found. His motorbike was found at the crash site.

Barry urged anyone concerned to call 101.

Speaking to the press on the evening of the accident, Superintendent Jane Derrick of Sussex Police said: "It is possible that tonight and tomorrow we are going to find more bodies at the scene."


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